The (Devil's) Advocate 

click to enlarge art16_theater_satan_100.jpg

I have not checked with playwright Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa regarding his inspiration for the storyline of "Say You Love Satan," but I bet it was born from a conversation after a screening of "Rosemary's Baby" about what might happen if someone actually dated the devil's kid.

At least that's the impression given by the snappy one-liners, allegorical and pop-culture references and overall clichés of gay lifestyle throughout the Richmond Triangle Players production.

The plot is clever enough: Gay grad student Andrew (Richard Gregory) dumps perfect saintlike boyfriend (Darius T. Epps) to date the son of Satan (Bill Lasselle). Issues of evil and good ensue to campy effect. Problems are overcome with the help of Andrew's over-involved straight female friend Bernadette (Meagan Adams). But the script is predictable and overloaded with satanic lore. Cute, self-referential lines such as "There's a special place in hell reserved for people who work in ditsy musicals" rescue the play from disaster, barely.

Jordan Michael Frink is a strong performer, which is good, since he plays four roles in the show, demonstrating delightful versatility. Lasselle is sinful eye candy as Jack, who delights the audience by being shirtless for much of the first act. Adams is hysterical as Bernadette, glibly adding to the play's self-consciousness with the line, "I am a straight woman trapped in this gay occult thriller known as your life."

But the faults with "Say You Love Satan" lie not with Richmond Triangle's director, cast or crew. It's simply the script itself. But if demonic themes, hunky leads and the occasional clever quip are what tempt you to come out during April showers, by all means go see it. S

The Richmond Triangle Players present "Say You Love Satan" at Fieldens Cabaret Theater, 2033 W. Broad St., Fridays and Saturdays through April 26 at 8 p.m., with some matinees. Tickets are$18-$22. Call 346-8113 or visit www.rtriangle.org.

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