Author:  Harold Kahm

Title:  The Crowded Bed

Where seen: Performed in Minneapolis, Mn, September 2000, Acadia Café Theater, by the Blair Comedy Project


Director: John Townsend

Performance time:

Cast: Anthony Kuehn, Joe Hart, Lawrence Hutera, Stephanie Carver, John Townsend

Recording available:

Relevance to DOASKDOTELL:


Review of the Play “The Crowded Bed,” by Harold Kahm.

The Crowded Bed, by Harold Kahm (approx. 1968).


This performance was directed by John Townsend, author himself of Porno Raid Suicide.  The title more or less suggests the plot. Two young men, of opposite sides of the railroad tracks, are manipulated by a young lady (Carver) who schemes to marry them both legally, in different European countries a few minutes apart.  Moreover, she schemes to invoke the “tender trap” upon both.  Are we to believe both young men love her so much that they will share a bed with her and become best friends, like the feuding Capulets in Romeo and Juliet?    Had I put this on, I might have played the Berlioz opus as background music!


There is the rich boy (Keuhn) who confides in his therapist (Townsend) that he doesn’t feel so good about himself, because he thinks people will want him only for his inheritance.  Well, he takes a low-work job in a bookstore, continually gets fired for non-performance and has to use his money to get reinstated.  Call it, buying your job in a rough economy?  Well, the 60’s were good economically, and these young men were exposed to the draft, not mentioned in the play.  We get a little tired of his saying, “I’m just a lowly bookstore clerk and I make just $185 a week.”  Decent wages for the 60’s for an entry-level job? Well, at one time I had never worked before and would have taken it.  Ah, to be young.


The other boy friend (John Hart) is blue collar, penniless, and , oh, so masculine.  But his masculinity is of the hairless, barren, Mark Wahlberg kind.  Penetrative performance is all that matters, symbols and external trappings of manhood don’t count  His language is coarse, “ball my chick!”  He tries to be “friends” with his rival and constantly loses his temper and threatens to kill him.


Oh, well, this is supposed to be a play about sexual liberation from a female point of view.  There’s a lot more to that, say, in the writings of Wendy McElroy.  I found myself absorbed as I watched it, even if the setup is preposterous. Situation comedy, no less.  Three’s a crowd, so the old crossword puzzle saying goes. Well, no more so than in I Love Lucy.


To reach the Acadia Theater, call 612-874-8800



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