The Rental

Critics

LemonMeter

100 %

Reviews: 3

Audience

LemonMeter

100 %

Reviews: 11

Wed Jun 19, 12:00am

She's not just any ol' call girl. He's not just any ol' virgin. When push comes to shove, and bump comes to grind, they both get more than they bargained for.

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Reviews

"Thanks to stellar writing, direction and strong performances, I found myself transfixed by the dynamic between these two characters and the smart and surprising shifts of perspective and interplay between role-playing and biting self-revelation. The execution of this little gem was spot-on, from the superb performances brimming with emotional honesty to the intimacy of the set and an unpredictable story arc that leads the audience to clever depths of empathy and insight. Ali Astin and Jake Corvino are perfect as two characters we think we recognize, only to expose deeper truths about the complexity of gender, sexual & sociocultural dynamics -- some timeless, others specific to the modern age. Writer Ben Ubiñas is not content with merely entertaining, but cleverly sets the audience up to challenge any assumptions they may have dared to make. One of the most thought-provoking hours on the stage I've seen in ages."

sweet - Karen Glienke


"...both Astin and Corvino are well matched in casting and intensity, and convincingly play the scenario as highly probable. They are both so likable, it makes The Rental digestibly believable and even a bit titillating."

sweet - Tracey Paleo - Gia on the Move - ...read full review


"The acting was great, specifically during the actual sex scene. It made what could have been an uncomfortable moment on stage funny to the audience, and captured the insecurities of sex perfectly. What a thought provoking story superbly told by two great actors. I was thoroughly captivated by the ebb and flow of the plot, and the two contradicting lifestyles each of the characters led. It greatly explored the stereotypes of sexual encounters and consent/respect within that realm. It had just the right amount of balance of funny and drama. I would definitely see it again!"

sweet - Anonymous


"I walked into The Rental not knowing quite what to expect. I could not believe how quickly the hour passed. I found Ali Astin to be authentic as an independent escort who uses apps to schedule her Johns and airbnb's to host them. Not kidding, I may never stay in an airbnb again. However, I found both Jake Corvino, innocent virgin turned elitist trick, and Astin's prostitute turned tough feminist both captivating and completely entertaining. The script, offered by Ben Ubiñas, took the audience on the intimate path through the fascinating world of escorts and their clients escapades. I would give this play extremely high marks on all levels."

sweet - Christine L.


"This wonderfully written and acted performances captivated me and exceeded my expectations. The comedy took some surprising twists and turns that wowed the audience, myself included. Astin's portrayal of an escort was ingenious and truly convincing. Corvino enters the stage an innocent virgin, but the plot takes a jaw dropping turn when his guiltless persona changes. Both of Astin's and Corvino's representations of the roles astounded me. A truly magnificent production."

sweet - Bella L


""The Rental" is a smart, funny and timely production which displays terrific form in direction and acting. Led by an elegant, commanding performance from Ali Astin with an engaging script from director Ben Ubiñas, "The Rental" makes for one appointment you won't want to miss! A wonderful production led by phenomenal performances. An insightful look into the stresses of love and pleasure. Provocative and Daring. Brilliant Acting. Top-Notch Writing and Directing. As good as the stage gets! You'll never forget it!"

sweet - Connor Smith


"I didn't know what to expect from The Rental. The space was intimate, so I felt instantly immersed in Elise's world. As Ali Astin stretched and primped, it felt as though I was being invited into her life. That she was actually a prostitute, readying for a client was genuinely a surprise. Jake Corvino likewise seemed innocent and naive. The playwright, Ben Ubiñas proceeded to drag me through a range of emotions, from titillated to enraged, this play was deceptive in its intensity and direct with its commentary. Sexuality was a statement in this play and Ali Astin was honest and eager to hit each note. Jake Corvino took an arresting turn late in the play, when his early veneer of innocence was forcefully replaced by an entitled bully or more a legitimately abusive person. I would say that this play was perfect for the LA Fringe Festival. It was professionally staged and performed. Ben Ubinas is a serious Writer and Director and I expect good things from him and the actors in the future."

sweet - Sean P


"The characters were profoundly structured to bring both societal flaws and virtues to the spotlight. This is the most honest commentary on modern insecurity and emotion in today's society embodied by precisely crafted characters. BRILLIANT!"

sweet - Shawyon Fazel


"What I Liked: Ali Astin. I was in awe of her talent, after years of studying under some of the best actors. She has that gift that we all hope for. Let it be known that SHE makes the show worth seeing.Astin steals the show! From the moment you walk into the theater, she is in character and embodies an empowered escort. Throughout the show, her stage presence is commanding and she connects to the message of feminism flawlessly. Both actors had great chemistry, but I would watch it again for Ali Astin's performance."

sweet - Winston Salvatori


"Found a flyer for this exclusive run. Best $10 I have ever spent. I loved walking into the theatre space and seeing Elise, played by Ali Astin, on stage prepping for the show. I felt as if I was a fly on her wall watching. Once the play began, I truly enjoyed the comedy and connection between Elise and Keith, played by Jake Corvino. Ali Astin's acting really made me appreciate the complexity of a modern sexual encounter. Jakes nervousness and determination portrayed what any 21-year-old virgin would do. Ali and Jakes acting would not have been cohesive without the brilliant writing and direction of Ben Ubiñas."

sweet - Michael K


"The Rental was a beautifully written and directed play covering a not only uncomfortable subject matter but a difficult and yet relevant subject. Corvino and Astin's performance truly enraptured the audience as they led us through an array of emotions and captured every single aspect brilliantly. I cannot wait to see this again!"

sweet - Katy Sanchez


"This was my favorite show at the Fringe this year. Beautifully written, acted, and staged. It made me think in ways I hadn't before and bended my expectations in a way that kept me interested and excited to see what would come next for the whole 50 minutes. Bravo!"

sweet - David Arcden


"The sexual aspect of the show is handled with grace and humor and is the perfect set-up for the surprises to come. Perhaps the pace of the show could be slightly quicker in the first half, but it's important to know these two well before their actions begin to test their fragile connection to each other. One of the more mature, thoughtful pieces I have seen this year."

sweet - Mike & Russell - My Haunt Life - ...read full review


"Both Astin and Corvino turned in Tony Award-worthy performances as a call girl and her virgin client. The story takes you in one direction and then shifts into an entirely different one, with mind-blowing results."

sweet - Bob Leggett - ...read full review


"...both Astin and Corvino are well matched in casting and intensity, and convincingly play the scenario as highly probable. They are both so likable, it makes The Rental digestibly believable and even a bit titillating."

sweet - Tracey Paleo - Gia on the Move - ...read full review


"The sexual aspect of the show is handled with grace and humor and is the perfect set-up for the surprises to come. Perhaps the pace of the show could be slightly quicker in the first half, but it's important to know these two well before their actions begin to test their fragile connection to each other. One of the more mature, thoughtful pieces I have seen this year."

sweet - Mike & Russell - My Haunt Life - ...read full review


"Both Astin and Corvino turned in Tony Award-worthy performances as a call girl and her virgin client. The story takes you in one direction and then shifts into an entirely different one, with mind-blowing results."

sweet - Bob Leggett - ...read full review


"Thanks to stellar writing, direction and strong performances, I found myself transfixed by the dynamic between these two characters and the smart and surprising shifts of perspective and interplay between role-playing and biting self-revelation. The execution of this little gem was spot-on, from the superb performances brimming with emotional honesty to the intimacy of the set and an unpredictable story arc that leads the audience to clever depths of empathy and insight. Ali Astin and Jake Corvino are perfect as two characters we think we recognize, only to expose deeper truths about the complexity of gender, sexual & sociocultural dynamics -- some timeless, others specific to the modern age. Writer Ben Ubiñas is not content with merely entertaining, but cleverly sets the audience up to challenge any assumptions they may have dared to make. One of the most thought-provoking hours on the stage I've seen in ages."

sweet - Karen Glienke


"The acting was great, specifically during the actual sex scene. It made what could have been an uncomfortable moment on stage funny to the audience, and captured the insecurities of sex perfectly. What a thought provoking story superbly told by two great actors. I was thoroughly captivated by the ebb and flow of the plot, and the two contradicting lifestyles each of the characters led. It greatly explored the stereotypes of sexual encounters and consent/respect within that realm. It had just the right amount of balance of funny and drama. I would definitely see it again!"

sweet - Anonymous


"I walked into The Rental not knowing quite what to expect. I could not believe how quickly the hour passed. I found Ali Astin to be authentic as an independent escort who uses apps to schedule her Johns and airbnb's to host them. Not kidding, I may never stay in an airbnb again. However, I found both Jake Corvino, innocent virgin turned elitist trick, and Astin's prostitute turned tough feminist both captivating and completely entertaining. The script, offered by Ben Ubiñas, took the audience on the intimate path through the fascinating world of escorts and their clients escapades. I would give this play extremely high marks on all levels."

sweet - Christine L.


"This wonderfully written and acted performances captivated me and exceeded my expectations. The comedy took some surprising twists and turns that wowed the audience, myself included. Astin's portrayal of an escort was ingenious and truly convincing. Corvino enters the stage an innocent virgin, but the plot takes a jaw dropping turn when his guiltless persona changes. Both of Astin's and Corvino's representations of the roles astounded me. A truly magnificent production."

sweet - Bella L


""The Rental" is a smart, funny and timely production which displays terrific form in direction and acting. Led by an elegant, commanding performance from Ali Astin with an engaging script from director Ben Ubiñas, "The Rental" makes for one appointment you won't want to miss! A wonderful production led by phenomenal performances. An insightful look into the stresses of love and pleasure. Provocative and Daring. Brilliant Acting. Top-Notch Writing and Directing. As good as the stage gets! You'll never forget it!"

sweet - Connor Smith


"I didn't know what to expect from The Rental. The space was intimate, so I felt instantly immersed in Elise's world. As Ali Astin stretched and primped, it felt as though I was being invited into her life. That she was actually a prostitute, readying for a client was genuinely a surprise. Jake Corvino likewise seemed innocent and naive. The playwright, Ben Ubiñas proceeded to drag me through a range of emotions, from titillated to enraged, this play was deceptive in its intensity and direct with its commentary. Sexuality was a statement in this play and Ali Astin was honest and eager to hit each note. Jake Corvino took an arresting turn late in the play, when his early veneer of innocence was forcefully replaced by an entitled bully or more a legitimately abusive person. I would say that this play was perfect for the LA Fringe Festival. It was professionally staged and performed. Ben Ubinas is a serious Writer and Director and I expect good things from him and the actors in the future."

sweet - Sean P


"The characters were profoundly structured to bring both societal flaws and virtues to the spotlight. This is the most honest commentary on modern insecurity and emotion in today's society embodied by precisely crafted characters. BRILLIANT!"

sweet - Shawyon Fazel


"What I Liked: Ali Astin. I was in awe of her talent, after years of studying under some of the best actors. She has that gift that we all hope for. Let it be known that SHE makes the show worth seeing.Astin steals the show! From the moment you walk into the theater, she is in character and embodies an empowered escort. Throughout the show, her stage presence is commanding and she connects to the message of feminism flawlessly. Both actors had great chemistry, but I would watch it again for Ali Astin's performance."

sweet - Winston Salvatori


"Found a flyer for this exclusive run. Best $10 I have ever spent. I loved walking into the theatre space and seeing Elise, played by Ali Astin, on stage prepping for the show. I felt as if I was a fly on her wall watching. Once the play began, I truly enjoyed the comedy and connection between Elise and Keith, played by Jake Corvino. Ali Astin's acting really made me appreciate the complexity of a modern sexual encounter. Jakes nervousness and determination portrayed what any 21-year-old virgin would do. Ali and Jakes acting would not have been cohesive without the brilliant writing and direction of Ben Ubiñas."

sweet - Michael K


"The Rental was a beautifully written and directed play covering a not only uncomfortable subject matter but a difficult and yet relevant subject. Corvino and Astin's performance truly enraptured the audience as they led us through an array of emotions and captured every single aspect brilliantly. I cannot wait to see this again!"

sweet - Katy Sanchez


"This was my favorite show at the Fringe this year. Beautifully written, acted, and staged. It made me think in ways I hadn't before and bended my expectations in a way that kept me interested and excited to see what would come next for the whole 50 minutes. Bravo!"

sweet - David Arcden