Sex and longing

Hopscotch: The New York Sex Comedy

Written & Directed by Wendy R. Williams
Texas Toast Productions
Rose's Turn
55 Grove Street (807-5707)
Equity showcase
Review by Andrès J. Wrath

(Runs through May18th: Fridays, March 17th & 24th at 7pm; Thursdays April 20, 27, May 4, May 11 & May 18 at 9pm; Information:

Sex comedies date back to Aristophanes, where the phallus was shown in all its exaggerated glories to Greek patrons. The modern day has David Mamet and Howard Korder-although both tend to be biased. The women come across at best unevenly matched, and at worst sketchy and one-dimensional. Hopscotch: The New York Sex Comedyoffers some chuckles but very little in the way of observation or new insight.

The premise of the hour-long evening is a bunch of New Yorkers trying to find sex. Hunky Bartender Nick (Scott M. Weaver) seduces everything in his path. Margo (Rebecca Woodland) is not looking for any man, but for a specific man who starred in her last S&M movie, whose defining attribute is enough to cast him in Aristophanes's Lysistrata without any mechanical enhancement. Priscilla (Carolee Patterson) is an aging woman who takes a magic potion to make her more desirable to men. Amanda (Joanna Kelly) is interested in Nick, who is interested in everyone else. On hand are Harvey (Brian James Grace), a flaming hairdresser; Officer Bob (Robert Harrington), who sells Amway; and Royston (Armistead Johnson), a businessman linked to Amanda's past. And what does everyone want? You got it! Sex!!!

The evening itself is caught between the confines of sketch comedy and a play. Overall, the evening could have used more developing. For instance, most of the play is spent on Margo's finding her "abundant" man and Priscilla's taking the magic potion, but neither of those subplots has a true payoff. Margo's man never shows up, and no one reacts to Priscilla's potion-taking. The evening climaxes (pun intended) with Amanda's and Royston's orgasm, but we hardly follow either Amanda or Royston throughout the evening. A lot of the time, in between, is spent with clichéd characters-the most offensive being the aging Priscilla, who is the butt of the jokes throughout the evening. If it weren't for the talented Ms. Patterson, the evening would have been unwatchable.

The acting could have used less pushing and indicating and more grounding. The cast, especially the aforementioned Ms. Patterson, was talented, but their efforts seemed overdone and on the cartoonish side. Director Wendy Williams used the stage well. She seemed at ease with her material, and her only fault as a director was not reigning in her cast.

The uncredited lights were minimal, and the set was pretty much nonexistent.
Box Score:

Writing: 1
Directing: 1
Acting: 1
Set: 1
Costumes: 1
Lighting/Sound: 1

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Copyright 1999 Andrès J. Wrath