Laugh Lines Galore from CST’s “Skin Deep”

A refreshing and human take on family, couples and the obsessions of  imperfection, “Skin Deep” is a wonderfully happy, bouncy comedy by Carpenter Square Theatre. It’s honestly one of the most delightful theatre treats I’ve enoyed since moving to OKC from Los Angeles in 2007. The four actors, Rebecca McCauley (Maureen), Kris Schinske (Sheila), Todd Clark (Squire) and Rodney Brazil (Joe), may be familiar names to CST theatre-goers, but all are splendid and unique in this ensemble cast.

Director Brett Young showed the actor’s touch, creating a production that flowed naturally from Jon Lonoff’s script. A romantic comedy without too much of the gushy stuff (you’re safe guys!), “Skin Deep” is at once both thought-provoking and familiar as these four reflect on the lingering half-life of poor self-esteem and the American craving for societal acceptance, be it in the “larger” of us, or the “greying” of us. The path to love is riddled with the wreckage of our past, and we some times cling to those roadblocks like giant boxes of melting ice cream.

I don’t like to give away too much of a story, but suffice it to say this is a fun night of theatre on a set that at times looks like either my home or my sister’s. it may be painfully familiar to some of you, too. And it makes a perfect backdrop for this Simon-esque script.

As for the theatre location, I get there quicker than I used to arrive at Stage Center downtown, considering parking, etc. Carpenter Square Theatre’s calamity-forced move to a new home for this season brought tears to many who knew how rare a home they enjoyed before floods forced closure of the downtown OKC venue. Counting on their tradition of relevant, sometimes edgy, unique and even eclectic modern drama and comedy, not to mention the steady stream of professional and experienced actors who enjoy working with Rhonda Clark’s company, they moved to The Bricktown Hotel & Convention Center for this season, possibly next and it has been a succesful venue considering. “Skin Deep” is an example of the high level of art they produce, and that they can design and stage a terrific production wherever they call home.

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