On Monday, July 13th, an audience of about 60 patrons in a humble Los Angeles black box theatre witnessed pure magic.

Nine actors, nine chairs, two theatrical blocks, nine scripts, nine bottles of SmartWater, a fake moustache and one small table were all that occupied the stage, yet throughout the course of the show the space transformed from Dorf’s apartment to the VidTech offices to a Kama Sutra retreat to Lady Chatterly’s estate with seamless, unwavering commitment from the brilliant cast. The words of Mike Horowitz, who penned the two pieces back in 2000 under the name Philip S. Wilson, gently lured the audience into a suspension of disbelief as the lights dimmed and Santana’s “Smooth” began to play…

“Initially, I agreed to do this because I heard that we got free SmartWater during the performance, but the experience far surpassed the fulfilling taste of electrolyte enhanced water” said actress Asmeret Ghebremichael.

“There was talk of us going to SF SketchFest or Edinburgh Fringe Festival,” actor David Fickas mused three days after the final curtain. Actress Lauren Stamile deemed the evening “a great reminder of why I chose to act in the first place.” Eric Edelstein stated that it was “one of the top five live erotica readings [he’s] been involved in.” And Riley Rose Critchlow said she was just grateful for “the opportunity to put [her] acting degree to good use.”

We sat down with Mike Horowitz to get his reaction after all the glitter had settled.

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Q: Did Monday night’s performance of Carnal Desire live up to all of your hopes and dreams?
MH: It definitely exceeded my expectations – mostly because the cast was even better than I hoped. Everyone was at the top of their game.
Q: What kind of feedback did you receive from audience members who were at the show?
MH: Maybe people were just being nice to me, but all the feedback I received was extremely positive. Lots of requests for us to do it again.
Q: What kinds of excuses did you get from those who “couldn’t make it”?
MH: I like where your head’s at, but we all live busy lives. I’m not going to call out anyone for getting too busy and double-booking their Monday night. (I’m not calling you out, Matt Nix)
Q: What’s next for Carnal Desire? Can we look forward to a full mount?
MH: A full mount? Is that a theater term?
Q: Sure…
MH: I think the cast would happily stage this again if some kind of aristocrat wants to fly us to a fancy theater for a show.
Q: Did the live reading bring anything new to the piece?
MH: Talent, maybe? It was a hundred times better than the version that Showtime viewers watched in September of 2000.
Q: Do you feel anything was lost in bringing these works to the stage?
MH: Nudity. There was much less nudity. But many viewers reported finding it quite sexy, nonetheless.
Q: How were the refreshments?

MH: Meh.

Q: What’s next for you and your talented cast of thespians?
MH: Everyone’s working on a bunch of different projects. Hopefully we can find time in our busy schedules for that aristocrat’s fancy shindig. Because we are psyched to excite more carnal desire!

 

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