Aside from being exceedingly funny, if not downright uproarious, Harmon does a masterful job of striking a delicate balance and skirting around the play’s potential distastefulness. A good many of the show’s best one-liners are hardly suitable for mentioning here. My favorite is probably Jodi’s offhanded remark upon seeing Benjamin’s photos from his trip to Budapest: “It’s stunning,” she exclaims. “I don’t know why our family ever left!” (Uh, maybe it had something to do with the imminent Nazi occupation of Hungary?)
The plot thickens uncomfortably, as Benjamin gradually grows smitten with his grandfather’s new “boy toy.” And, although his sex appeal is unmistakable long before an extended scene in a skimpy jockstrap, it could be a weakness in the writing that actor Griffin doesn’t satisfactorily delineate all of Trey’s ambiguities. He’s generally sweet-natured, and yet awfully mean-spirited towards Elliot’s assistant (a deadpan Christopher Repotski). Is the character a money-grubbing interloper, or does he feel a genuine affection for Elliot?
The peerless Kayser has a rather thankless task in terms of playing the relative straight-man of the piece. Similarly, you might be tempted to dismiss the role of Elliot’s housekeeper as a waste of veteran actress Marianne Fraulo’s estimable talents—mainly involving a humorous running gag about her slowly schlepping luggage up and down a flight of stairs.
Without divulging the play’s happy ending, to label “Skintight” as excoriating may be pushing it, but when Fraulo translates an old Hungarian postcard in one scene, she provides a much-needed and greatly appreciated moment of restraint and poignancy in an otherwise flat-out hysterical comedy.
Through Oct. 13. 8 p.m. Wednesdays-Saturdays; 2 p.m. Sundays; 2 p.m. Saturday (Oct. 5 only). $20-$35. Actor's Express (at King Plow Arts Center), 887 W. Marietta St. NW, Atlanta. 404-607-7469. actors-express.com.
Bottom line: More superficial than profound, but loaded with plenty of laughs.