...in all the wrong places


Written and directed by Jonathan Kronenberger
Equity showcase (closes Dec. 11)
Wings Theatre Company
154 Christopher St (212/627-2961)
Review by Seth Bisen-Hersh

Looking4sex is a play about sticky situations that can come from online dating within the gay community. It consists of six vignettes exploring wacky situations and bizarre circumstances. It has much humor and a lot of heart -- though at times the happenings seemed a tad unrealistic and some of the scenes extended beyond the point of their funniness.

The show comprises two acts of three scenes each. The first scene sets up the evening -- it is an orgy. It introduces the four main men, each of whose lives is examined in a follow-up scene. The second scene follows Robert (Brian Patacca)’s hookup: Robert sells himself online to help pay his rent. This scene showcases what happens when he coincidentally knows the person who has hired him online (since the pictures are without faces, they embarrassingly realize it too late).

The third scene follows Scott (Andrew Shoffner)’s hookup. Unemployed, he brings home a submissive (Jason Alan Griffin) to clean his apartment, and complications arise when his straight roommate is freaked out by a man in only a jockstrap cleaning with a toothbrush stuck up his ass. The fourth scene is about Almond (Brad Thomason)’s attempted threesome with his boyfriend, David (Robert Maisonett). The fifth scene explores a first date for Lorenzo (Phoenix Walker). The final scene returns to the orgy, as the audience is armed with greater knowledge about the four men.

The second scene seemed the least realistic, and went on too long. The third scene was the raunchiest, making for some really good laughs. The fourth scene was the most touching and "real." The fifth scene was funny, but again outran its punchline. The opening and final scenes bookcased the show nicely, and the latter provided a solid conclusion.

The actors ranged in scope and breadth. The highlights were the flamboyant, passionate Andrew Shoffner, the soulful Brad Thomason as the touching Almond, the genuine Dan Salyer as the musical-theatre queen, Xerxes, and the understated Jason Alan Griffin in a variety of parts including the quiet book geek, the panting submissive, and the sweet stranger preparing for a ménage with Almond and Xerxes.

Technically, the show worked. Kronenberger’s direction kept the pace moving; his staging used the stage well. Meganne George’s settings and costumes were functionally minimal (especially the costumes, considering almost every guy was naked at some point!).

Thus, the show had hilarious moments, but overall needed tightening and fine-tuning. There is much potential and heart in the play and it succeeded in entertaining

Box Score:

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

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Copyright 2004 Seth Bisen-Hersh