It might be this project started as a goof, but what an evolution from there! Imagine this: veteran actor/writer Richard Pacheco (not in the cast) ostensibly hands a complex script to Bay Area buddy John Leslie for his consideration. Leslie and the honchos at VCA talk it over, essentially saying it's too difficult and expensive to shoot without extensive rehearsal – a shame, because it's a good script, and Rocco would be a great Julio, and Joey Silvera would be terrific as sadsack Hank, and this new girl Lydia Chanel has been doing some great amateur turns, and can do a nifty French accent besides… ah, well, maybe if we had a couple of days to rehearse the damn thing, we could pull it off. So Leslie says, "Fuck it. Let's shoot the rehearsal, and put in all the sex scenes." The Rehearsal is a fresh, funny, and very sexy twist on the time-worn behind the scenes genre, loaded with fantastic sex scenes. The cinema verite theme gets appropriately realistic camerawork – the camera jiggles with insistent urgency as it follows the prowling Leslie around the set, but settles in for the sex in some of the best closeup handheld work you'll see in this business. There's a tongue-in-cheek element that helps keep this vid from the lulls usually endemic to a work of this length – for instance, when Leslie calls for the camera to get softcore coverage of a particular sex scene, we're treated to a sizzling hardcore closeup.
The putative script being rehearsed really doesn't matter – we never see or hear enough of it for it to matter to the action. What matters is the intensity of the seven sex scenes, which, happily for this reviewer, feature three of this business's all-too-rare natural redheads – Cody O'Connor, Traci Prince, and Brittany O'Connell. Add to the russet crew a breakthrough performance by heretofore unheralded Latin beauty Lydia Chanel and a typically-unrestrained turn by Debi Diamond, and you have another rarity: a festival of natural bodies (including uncut stud Mark Davis, if you want to get technical about naturalness). The tall, busty Cody and Rocco set a blistering pace in the first sex scene, featuring heavy oral action, and a sizzling bit of analingus while Cody jerks Rocco off from her kneeling position. By the time she throws her long legs over his shoulders, her pussy is dripping. The fierce over-the-couch fucking that ensues ends with a facial flood; Leslie snickers and points out that it's actually an outdoor scene – there won't be any couch. Don't worry, John – this pair will find a way. Lucky Tom Byron then gets sandwiched between dueling redheads Traci and Brittany, highlighted by Brittany camping on his peg as Traci tongues his balls and her ass.
Lydia's breakthrough performance commences with Joey Silvera licking and fingering her from behind. She rides his cock for a long stint, bouncing her boobs with abandon, and then takes him to the hilt in an incandescent sidesaddle anal, prompting the watching Rocco to cram his fingers up Angella Faitth's willing butthole in imitation. Lydia and Joey switch positions to reverse cowgirl and then missionary anal, ending with a pussy splash that prompts director Leslie to comment, "That's the most disgusting thing I've ever seen." Maybe so, but I'd like to see more! Lydia is then dispatched to wardrobe with Mark Davis. Debi Diamond is the wardrobe mistress, so we know this isn't pure verite. Lydia and Mark start to neck, sending Debi over the edge into a sexual fenzy, deep-throating Mark, licking Lydia's butt, and finally getting sandwiched as she mounts Mark while getting her butt plowed by Lydia's strap-on. Cum flies everywhere as the pair jerk Mark off. Star turns by Joey Silvera with Shelene, after he's frustrated by Dyanna Lauren's refusal to do hardcore (although she gets in a great strip and tease scene in skintight black latex); and by Angella Faith getting power-fucked and dick-slapped in turn by Rocco and T.T. Boy, top off a feast of top-notch sex.
Fans of John Leslie, as both a performer and director, won't be surprised that his vision and presence drives this video. Whether he is explaining the character and action to his actors, mangling the script (in which he "plays" a non-sex role as Traci and Lydia's father), stopping the sex-intent Angella and Rocco from coming prematurely (hell, even before their scene!), or cracking up the cast and crew in riffs reminiscent of the cast of the old Carol Burnett Show's intramural madness, he is an utterly magnetic, humorous, and commanding screen persona. Thanks to Leslie, The Rehearsal never flags in interest or sexual intensity. If this were the first Leslie effort you'd ever seen, you'd put all his "finished" work on your must-see list – and that's where this one should go, too.