Review: SEX aka Wieners and Boobs at Arcade Comedy Theater | Theater Reviews + Features | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper
Favorite

Review: SEX aka Wieners and Boobs at Arcade Comedy Theater 

Anyone familiar with David Wain, Michael Showalter, and Joe Lo Truglio should know what to expect from this thing.

click to enlarge PHOTO: MIKE RUBINO
  • Photo: Mike Rubino
In Teaneck, New Jersey, the big business is sex, a.k.a. wieners and boobs (a few ingredients missing there, but whatever). Prostitutes and gigolos walk the streets for the business of eager townsfolk, under the protection of corrupt Mayor Gerard Depardieu, who's in the pocket of a crime boss named Tad Theaterman. When a new sheriff, Jack Greenberg, arrives in town, the whole W&B operation is threatened.

Those are the bones of SEX aka Wieners and Boobs, staged by Arcade Comedy Theater through October 6. You might expect a wiener-boob-driven plot, but that's not really it (there is a dildo, though). Nor, as I had thought/hoped for, is it Blazing Saddles with a Jewish sheriff. SEX is a collection of silly sight gags, wild tangents, and in-jokes that land with varying success. Just like its namesake.

SEX comes from David Wain, Michael Showalter, and Joe Lo Truglio, who have been collaborating since their undergrad days at New York University where they cultivated a brand of profoundly silly, subtly dark humor. Wain and Showalter were at the helm for 2001 cult classic Wet Hot American Summer (and its Netflix sequels), in which Lo Truglio starred alongside other frequent collaborators (Ken Marino, Michael Ian Black, Thomas Lennon, Kerri Kenney-Silver). Anyone familiar with these writers should know what to expect. 

The show opens with a stuffy theater director named Doniello informing the audience that, due to scheduling conflicts, the Q&A will have to take place prior to the performance. An audience plant asks if the "hot dog scene [was] a deliberate tip of the hat to Moliere." It's a joke, but also a little wink to anybody trying to find deeper meaning in the gleefully stupid sh*t in the story. It is what it is. 

The rest of the play is narrated by an old timey prospector-type played hilariously by Michael McBurney. One highlight: "Well, looks like Sherriff Jack's in a bit of a checkmate. 'Course you can't really be in a bit of a checkmate. You're either in checkmate or you're not. It's like being preggers." That bit of introspection into semantics continues for a paragraph before he gets back to a-narratin'.

Sometimes, those bits of time-consuming, tangent-chasing succeed — a wordless, choreographed march of the bad guys across the stage; a straight-faced rendition of a scene from a Mamet work, mid-play, without explanation. Other times, you just want to fast-forward. The successful ones succeed in their commitment to inexpediency, while the others are just tedious. 

But the cast and production handle the bargain admirably. The Arcade space is un-fancy and intimate, so it works well with the fourth-wall breaking and charming clumsiness of the script. It's not the writers' finest work, but fans of their absurd, silly world will find plenty to like here.  

Follow associate editor Alex Gordon on Twitter @shmalexgordon

__

SEX aka Wieners and Boobs
Continues through October 6. 10 p.m. $20. Arcade Comedy Theater, 943 Liberty Ave., Downtown. arcadecomedytheater.com

Favorite

Speaking of...

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Listings

CP Newsletters

Sign up to get the freshest content sent right to your inbox.

No recent CP TV

© 2018 Pittsburgh City Paper

Website powered by Foundation

National Advertising by VMG Advertising