This group is for members of Ryan Donovan’s discussion sections in Hunter College’s Spring 2015 Introduction to Theatre course.
The Accidental Pervert reviewed by Mayra Raphaela
- March 21, 2015 at 5:45 pm #1779
The Accidental Pervert is an off-Broadway production about a man who begins to explain his story with an incident that occurred in his early childhood that changed his life forever. It is a comedic play that integrates improvisation and audience participation, as well as realistic themes such as: life, love, sex, and parenthood. Overall, the show really managed to intrigue and keep the audience focused throughout the end and leave a great impression of what live theatre is.
The play centers on a man who at the early age 7 found his father’s collection of porno. As he got older, porn became an integral part of his life. It became an obsession and a secret that warped his innocent mind with false ideas of love, women and sex. He was never able to confess his secret to his father, and through the discovery of his father’s porn box he began to see his father and mother through a different perspective. He did not understand how his father, whom he thought of as a business man who loved steak, could also be a man who secretly fantasized about porno. Likewise, the day he walked in on his parents having sex, he could no longer see his mother in the same way. Throughout his adolescent years he sincerely believed that sex would be exactly like the way porn depicted, and thus his first experience with sex left him disappointed. He found himself having one night stands that never fulfilled his ideal “porn sex” and turned to drunken sex to experience more kinkiness. He finally found a middle-aged Italian woman he considered “experienced,” and after finally experience a semblance of what he believed sex should be like, he met his future wife. Only this time she wasn’t like the other women and he felt something more. He was even willing to wait for his Catholic lover and eventually got married. When his father passed away before the wedding, the character regrets not being able to speak to his father about his discovery, but decided that having a child and passing on his legacy would make his father proud. After his wife gave birth to a little girl, the character realized that porn had not prepared him for this moment, as it had with sex and he realized that he was now a father. He decided to throw away his father’s porn collection and replace it with videos of cartoons to watch with his daughter.
My favorite moment from this play was when the character told the audience about the first time he had sex. The actor exclaimed, “At fifteen I had sex for the first time!” and someone from the audience gave a clap, which started a chain of indecisive clapping from the rest of us. At this moment the actor stopped and us that he would re-do the line and give us another chance to do better at clapping. He told us that this was “live theatre” and that you are able to interact with the play (clapping, shouting, whistling). He also explained that unlike TV, one is able to re-do moments in the play. This was the second time that “live theatre” was said in this performance. During the introduction to the play, the director had also said that this show was live-theatre. I really found this surprising as we have just discussed the universals of theatre. It really brought me back to why live theatre is extremely different from TV shows, movies and recordings. Being in the same space as the actor and the stage itself is a completely different experience than being in a cinema and watching a screen.
When I entered the theatre, I tried to discern which qualifications the space fell into. The theatre setting and stage were small, but it still included sounds, lighting, props, etc. I believe that the theatre space is a black box with the moderately raked seating; however the seats cannot be rearranged. Throughout the show I also believe that the audience was an active one, and that this play is meant to have an active audience rather than a passive one.
In conclusion, I found the show to have been well executed, especially by the actor breaking the fourth wall. There was so much interaction, actor to sound technician, audience to actor, actor to audience and even props onto the audience. Many times the actor would ask questions to the audience and get responses, or even get side-track and make jokes or commentaries about his own performance. At one point the actor mentioned that in the previous show he said “Blow…” and left the audience to respond, and one member replied “Me,” but in our screening an audience member replied with “Job.” He would often throw props at the audience and even get into conversations with the audience. At the end of the play, I thought about what the message of the story was and concluded that it is a very relevant element to our society today. Many adolescent kids are being exposed to porn and taught false ideas about love, sex and the opposite gender. Although porn could arguably be a normal part of society and of a pubescent child, this play showed the negative consequences that can occur if kids whole-heartedly believe in the scenarios of pornos.
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