“A script so hilarious, you can’t help but laugh at ‘the rule of the towel,’ ‘practicing at home’ and interlude music so apropos that it’s practically part of the story.”

By Andrew Andrews

No doubt, you’ve heard of helicopter parents.

How about helicopter children?

Jack and Betty Baxter (Ken Coughlin and Francesca Devito) finally bit the bullet and sold their house in Illinois so they could be closer to their grandchildren in Florida.

Maybe that wasn’t such a great idea after all?

Their daughter Judith (Autumn Mirassou) and son James Dean (Johnny Blaze Leavitt) keep stopping by to check up on them, insisting that the parents give them spare keys so they can barge in unannounced at any time.

But Jack and Betty want their privacy, so when neighbors Lloyd and Eve Morton (Mike Durell and Amy Losi) convince them to pretend they’ve become nudists to stop the spawn from popping in, the problem appears to be solved until J.D.’s wife Terri (Rooki Tiwari) shows an interest in her in-laws’ new lifestyle—and Judith shows an interest in Nick (Manny Rey), the leader of Serenity Falls Nudist Retreat.

That’s the premise of H.G. Brown’s The Bare Truth, a laugh-out-loud comedy now playing at the American Theatre of Actors’ Sargent Theatre, directed by Laurie Rae Waugh.

Pitting the “lightly-attired” Baxters and their “ever-casual” neighbors against the 40-year-old divorcée raising a teenager (“it doesn’t get worse than that!”) and her dentist—ahem, oral surgeonof a brother, the show introduces the premise of nudism (“natural, back-to-nature”) to the audience with a script so hilarious, you can’t help but laugh at “the rule of the towel,” “practicing at home” and interlude music so apropos that it’s practically part of the story.

If the thought of sharing a cramped space with a room full of nude seniors—(that’s “nude, not naked: naked is raw and uncultured!”)—sounds a little unnerving, fear not: there isn’t any actual nudity in this production that’s almost family-friendly, save for a little innuendo and a few curse words.


Andrew Andrews attended THE BARE TRUTH at American Theatre of Actors Sargent Theater in Manhattan on Friday, January 25, 2019 @ 8:00pm to write this review.