Sexy, scandalous & hilarious
Gea Pierre’s newest stage play “Friends with Benefits” that played to nine sold out shows in Grand Bahama since its release is said to be sexy, scandalous and hilarious – making it a must-see production, according to the writer, and it’s coming to New Providence this weekend with four shows on tap.
“You’re going to feel like you’re peeping inside somebody’s living room…hearing things you’re not supposed to hear,” said Pierre of the play which has its first show tonight at the Performing Arts Centre at the University of The Bahamas (UB), with a second show on Saturday night and two shows on Sunday.
“It’s hilariously scandalous.”
It’s a play that Pierre says is “real” in its language and messages, which she said will resonate with people as they see themselves onstage in the characters.
“We’ve had people who have seen the show multiple times, and the responses of men have been awesome. The realness of it…the message – the truth, the light and the humor. It’s going to be a good time in the theatre,” she said.
Pierre describes “Friends with Benefits” as the big, sexy sister to the “Crazy Love” series which is about love relationships. “‘Friends with Benefits’ is about relationships that people get involved in trying to kind of patch those voids of love.”
Pierre’s play, which is directed by Patrice Johnson and produced by Mark Gardiner, features Fiona Bellot-Daniels playing the role of Denise; Evan Williams in the role of Calvin; Remardo Russell in the role of Kirk; Desi Joseph in the role of the naïve GiGi; Miesha Mortimer in the role of the vivacious Trina; Shorrell Dames in the role of the lovely Kayla; Truman Cooper playing Alex; Ontario Richardson in the role of the tempting Daniel Dames II; Lisa Turnquest in the role of the sexy Pam; Ramon Webb playing Tony; Tempestt Bullard as the fabulous Reece; Reggie Simmons as Raymond; Jill Lightbourne in the role of the lovable Kelly; Mark Gardiner in the role of Dre; and Fenrick Russell playing Mr. Bush Tea.
According to GiGi: “I don’t care what he says with his mouth – if he treat you like a side piece…then sis that’s what you are. Men don’t lie – women just refuse to believe actions.”
Alex says: “I hate when gals try act like plenty dudes on they line, talking ‘bout, ‘I ain’t calling names, I am a private person.’ That’s because you don’t have nothing to go public with.”
Kelly says: “I don’t care how good you think your benefits are, you can’t compete with a woman a man loves.”
And Daniel Dames says: “Go ‘head fool – mistreat her, ignore her, make her forget who she is. I’m that guy sliding in her inbox with the WYD trying to remind her.”
Trina is said to be the scene stealer of this production and who is described by her castmates as Keisha from the “Crazy Love” series on steroids, because she’s that hilarious and the one that says: “Wendy’s? Oh no, sweetie. I eat that on my dime. When man paying I don’t eat food you order by the number.”
And then there’s Pamela, who says: “You are my man, you should know what I need. Some of y’all man can’t handle the preview and y’all think y’all ready for the whole damn show.”
And of course, Kayla’s take is: “No man is going to half love me. Either you step up or sit down – you blocking another man’s view.”
Kirk says: “The easiest woman to run game on is a single woman in Nassau; there is a man shortage and they know it. They rather be unhappy than single.”
Calvin says: “You taxing me for your hair, your nails, your gas… I trying to be your man and not your financial plan – you gat me paying you like tithes.”
Dre says: “Nassau too small for ‘friends with benefits’ – these dudes territorial, they out here getting jealous over they side chick.”
Pierre says she and the Out of The Ashes Entertainment team have a reputation to live up to, and she said they bring it once again with “Friends with Benefits”.
“What you’re coming to see is exceptionalism. It’s scandal, sex…something that you can relate to and nothing you should be afraid of,” said Pierre.
It took Pierre two weeks to write this latest production even though she had the idea for the play for many years when she returned home from college and witnessed people being more expressive about the kind of relationships they were in. She said she knew that theatre should represent that reality and wanted to do a show that reflected a punch of realness, but was a little skeptical, so she did the “Crazy Love” series instead, which was very well received. It was at that point that she took a step back and said that maybe people were ready for a little more truth, hence she wrote and brought to the stage “Friends with Benefits”.
Pierre says both her fans and people who have never seen one of her productions won’t be disappointed.
Cast members have described the play as energetic, phenomenal, exhilarating and relatable. And that it touches on everything that’s out there today – “situation-ship”, relationship, “cougar-ism”, mixed in with surprises, and scandal, for entertainment at its best.
They have said that it will be the most amazing and exciting two hours a person will ever experience in their life…sitting down.
“Friends with Benefits” will be staged tonight through Sunday at the UB Performing Arts Centre.
Showtimes are at 8 p.m. tonight and Saturday and at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $30 in advance, available at all Cash N’ Go locations, or $35 at the door.
Fiona Bellot-Daniels plays the role of Denise.
Evan Williams in the role of Calvin.
Remardo Russell in the role of Kirk.
Desi Joseph in the role of the naïve GiGi.
Miesha Mortimer in the role of the vivacious Trina.
Shorrell Dames in the role of the lovely Kayla.
Truman Cooper plays Alex.
Ontario Richardson in the role of the tempting Daniel Dames II.
Lisa Turnquest in the role of the sexy Pam.
Ramon Webb plays Tony.
Tempestt Bullard plays the fabulous Reece.
Reggie Simmons plays Raymond.
Jill Lightbourne plays the lovable Kelly.
Mark Gardiner in the role of Dre.
Fenrick Russell plays Mr. Bush Tea.
Shavaughn was appointed as the Lifestyles Editor a few years later.
Education: Saint Augustine’s College, BA in Mass Communication