The following day, Alex comes home to find Jeffrey all toasty and cheerful. It seems Jeffrey had gotten into an argument with Geraldine, resulting in his strangling her and stuffing the body into a trunk that serves as their coffee table.
The heat is really on when Verburgh (Rusdi Lane), Geraldine’s janitor boyfriend, realizes the body is in their apartment. He has a heart attack from the shock and dies; the boys try to hide the bodies as friends and neighbors stop by to visit.
Playwright Ryan has taken characters who seem too close for comfort and put them in a situation that is larger than life. At times the storyline seems built to house the tired gay-vs.-straight jokes, which have been heard before.
Gardner creates a credible character with the looks, pathos and pathology of a Menendez brother. Morri, as Alex, adds counterpoint and balance to his roommate’s frenetic antics.
Stephanie Ittleson outshines her role as the kindhearted, not-so-dumb neighbor with designs on Jeffrey. Veteran actors Lane, as janitor Verburgh, and Bill Feeny, as Ace, a policeman and friend of the family, add strong support and amusing characterizations to the main plot.
Director Jeffrey Wylie keeps the action moving, enhancing the campy, cartoon flavor of the story. Set designer Steve Harris takes us to an apartment that has been occupied by everyone who has ever struggled to pay the rent. The set he’s created is so precisely detailed, one can almost hear a mousetrap snap under the kitchen sink.