Flaccid Penis Seeks Vaginal Dryness
nytheatre.com review by Joe Kurtz
August 13, 2011
A cast of thousands! (13) takes to the stage in Mike Poblete’s Flaccid Penis Seeks Vagina Dryness. The show is about a website of the aforementioned title, where people can go and talk with strangers about their sexual dysfunctions. It is laid out as if the audience were a visitor to the site and found themselves navigating the many chat rooms (Porn: The Root of All Evil; G Spot, G Spot Run; etc.) that the site has to offer. They do this through the virgin eyes of Dan, who is the Alice in this Wonderland of sexual dysfunction. Once in, one is treated to the online chatter from the sexual dysfunctionites who frequent whichever particular subject is being discussed, being careful to avoid the many pop-ups, spam and Facebook notifications that are the burden of any web surfer.
At the start of the show, we’re greeted with the idea that all the websites and software in this play/computer are to be played by actors. Firefox is a doting speed vixen, porn sites are embodied by a bondage baby who’s only wearing half a shirt, and Facebook is that guy in college that you never really liked, but couldn’t find any particular reason not to like him, so you put up with him. Immediately you know this isn’t going to be a normal play. And it’s not. Moreover, it’s a play that seeks to poke fun at the internet-centric world we live in by taking what we share with strangers and “friends” to the extreme. Nothing is off limits: from people who are sexually attracted to children to fisting, this play explores all in-kind subject matter.
Overall, the acting in the piece is good. The majority of the people in the cast play three or more characters that we get to hear only a little bit from, but interwoven are a couple of characters we get to know a little better. While most of the characters in the piece are silly one-liners waiting to happen, there are those few who seem to have more depth to them, and it is a nice treat whenever they happen to interact. It is hard to get a real sense of connection between the characters, as all dialogue is played facing full-front to the audience. Presumably this is done intentionally to simulate how we don’t really talk to each other when we talk on the internet. Even with this limitation, the actors find a way to connect with the person they’re “chatting” with.
The play is fun. It felt more like a sketch comedy show than a play, but that is certainly not a bad thing. No punches are pulled in the matter of “blue” humor, so if you’re easily offended, go anyways and get over yourself. This is an enjoyable night at the theater, and it’s conceptually interesting and topical. The only big thing the play suffers from is that, in this world, there’s just not much anymore that is really considered taboo.