First of all, calm down. Sure, the show is called Sex a.k.a. Wieners and Boobs, but the final count of actual sightings on stage are Wieners: 1 (purple plastic), Boobs: 0. This is understandable in a show where everything is ironic and nothing real is ever exposed -- including characters, feelings, dicks, racks, you name it.
The comedy-sketch plot is set in Teaneck, New Jersey, which, oddly, seems like a hick town in rural Mississippi. It's run by the evil Tad Theaterman, who operates a local brothel filled with whores and gigolos (never mind that gigolos don't rent their joints and orifices by the half-hour; it's just stupid, and stupid is funny . . . get it?). The new sheriff, Jack Greenberg, is intent on busting the brothel business, until he learns that his heartthrob, Hillary, is on the staff. This sets up a showdown between him and Theaterman, complete with strobe-lit gunplay and a magical boomeranging whiskey bottle.
This storyline is revealed in a series of scenes that veer from laugh-out-loud funny to stupefyingly boring. Playwrights Joe Lo Truglio, Michael Showalter, and David Wain have no doubt developed a following with their participation in MTV's comedy group The State and their summer-camp flick Wet Hot American Summer. So there is a built-in audience for their wacky blackout humor, non sequiturs, and in-your-face ambush gags (Sheriff Jack: "Hillary, I'm looking for a place to put my penis." Hillary: "My vagina, maybe?"). These interchanges are a gas, as is the scene where three boys are sitting by a pond reminiscing about their rustic childhoods, until each gives up, realizing none of it ever happened.
But what irritates is the show's relentlessly juvenile take on everything. The new sheriff's name is mocked as "Jack-me-off Greenturd," one gigolo in the brothel is called "Penis Pants," and the entire eight-person company sings the "Wieners and Boobs" song with the unbounded mischievous joy (tee-hee) of fourth graders at recess. Uh, weren't young people these days supposed to be getting more sophisticated, after continual immersion in sex-related fare on TV, movies, and the internet? At times, Sex plays like a weird throwback to the 1950s, when any of those naughty words would raise eyebrows. Come on, kids, it's the third millennium, and it's just sex, for chrissake. Can we lose the giggling? Under the direction of Richard Jones, the actors scream most of their lines, which seems appropriate, given the subtlety of the script. Actors Dan Boughammer and Dana Quercioli are particularly adept at instantly crafting different characters.
Midway though the proceedings, the cast breaks form and presents a short scene from the David Mamet drama Glengarry Glen Ross. The actors play it straight and, aside from the yelling, perform it well. Instead of being a jeering blast at conventional theater, it seems an homage to a play where real people are created without the monotonous whine of the oppressive irony machine. And that's a nice relief.
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