52 Man Pickup
nytheatre.com review by Richard Hinojosa
August 14, 2008
To Desiree Burch, sex is like breathing. I don't just mean the in/out part; I mean it is the vital essence that keeps her alive. It fans her soul's fire and that fire burns bright and hot. She is absolutely hilarious!
Her show 52 Man Pickup is fairly simple. She has a deck of oversized playing cards with the names of the men and women with whom she has had sex. The value of the card represents the quality of the sex. The face cards, for example, did something right all night long. Along with the names of the person is a description of the sex. Some of the descriptions include "the muff driving messiah," "the Puerto Rican Robert Downey, Jr. with an eight-inch penis," and (my favorite) "the man who gave me the queefiest sex ever!" She also plays with the audience. At one point she asks some folks to tell a story about being rejected after the sex goes down. I didn't think anyone would really want to tell a story like that, but a couple folks did. She sets up an atmosphere of honesty and complete openness and I guess it's contagious.
I was pulled on stage to play a game of "lick 'em and stick 'em" in which three bachelors stick a card slathered with saliva to their foreheads and the audience is supposed to guess who has the highest value after hearing the description. I lost. (My penis was too much like Pinocchio's nose.) Burch also has Daniel Ajl Kitrosser as "Gay on Piano" to accompany her. Kitrosser is quite funny and could have been utilized more. He doesn't actually play any songs during the show, for example, only during the pre-show.
Burch is extraordinarily talented. She has a magnetic stage presence and she is a very skilled storyteller and comedian. Her writing is so sincere and poetic. She's not just a funny girl telling her naughty stories; she takes the time to delve a little deeper at times. There were few of these hook-ups that hurt her a little. There were others in which "they got the sex wrong, but the truth right." Burch certainly makes you laugh but she also manages to make you think a little. She even talks about doing some thinking of her own when she's looking up at a man heaving away at her. Don't get me wrong, there is no "cum shot catharsis", as Burch puts it, she's just brutally honest and that can make for some heartbreaking truth. Mostly, though, the show is hilarious and loads of fun.
Burch, Kitrosser, and director Isaac Byrne have put together an extremely entertaining show. This is what FringeNYC is all about. It's cringe fringe! Catch this one before it's gone.