Last updated: August 23. 2013 8:03PM - 53 Views

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LIMA — What can be said about “Love, Sex and the IRS” that isn’t mentioned in the title? This fast-paced comedy, which debuts today at Encore Theatre in Lima, is one of several Billy van Zandt/Jane Milmore productions put on by the theater, said producer Charlie Diefenbacher. The plays written by the duo typically have the theatrical elements Encore patrons enjoy.“It is a farce,” he said. “It’s a slapstick-type of comedy we feel the audience likes.”The action revolves around two central male characters, out-of-work musicians, Jon and Leslie, who live together in New York. To save money, the two file tax returns as a married couple. The friends run into trouble, however, when the IRS decides to send in an investigator, forcing Leslie to dress in drag and pose as a housewife. Jon’s mother, Jon’s fiancé and Leslie’s ex-girlfriend also enter the complicated situation, drumming up tension, conflict and hilarity.The combination of over-the-top scenarios and snappy dialogue make for an extremely fun script, said Chris Butturff, who plays IRS agent “Mr. Spinner” in the production.“This is one of the most produced comedies in American community theater, and for a good reason,” he said. “It has a lot of the great comedic elements, like slapstick, wordplay and mistaken identity. All the classic elements of farce are there.”Though they have their moments of excess, the show’s characters still have elements that make them relatable, Butturff said. “I think all of the people represent people that we know in real life,” he said. With empathetic characters and an extremely funny script, “Love, Sex and the IRS” should appeal to a wide-ranging audience, said director Rod Blackwell (although because of adult language and situations, Blackwell recommends mature high school students and older attend). “It deals with young adult foibles where one lie begets another lie, and all the entrapments associated with that,” he said. “It’s very animated and exciting for the audience.”

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