A raunchy comedy offering insight into the link between social media and sex appeal excited me, so I braced myself for a provocative, hilarious, shocking show. Unfortunately, #Sexts was a disappointing display of a confusing narrative and worse yet a title that, although salacious, had little connection to the show’s overall theme.
I think the play revolved around Ryan (Michael Silver) in a very thirty-something-How-I-Met-Your-Mother style. He invites the audience to follow the trajectory of his college friendships. There’s bro-tastic, drunk, out of work Blake (Erik Harrison) who for some reason is entangled in a contentious relationship with his girlfriend Janet, (Emily Mullin) a career driven woman who never lets love get in the way of her advancement. College bud number two is Dean (Eric Cline) a man coming to terms with his ailing mother while balancing the needs of his demanding girlfriend Cassie (Erica Smith). Oh and of course, Vicky (Rebecca Fischler) offers the nerdy, honorary-bro, perspective as she fumbles her way through heartbreak.
The principal cast performed their lines to the best of their ability. Due to simple archetypes, they seemed to have an easy time embodying their characters. However, they were missing the glue that holds together long lasting friendships, authentic emotional connection.
Written and directed by Andy De
Details and tickets
Perhaps the actors were a bit confused about the motivating element of the plot. Social media, dating, marriage, break-ups, aging, terminal illness, self worth, bro-mance, and alcoholism were all covered during a very chaotic hour. Any one of the aforementioned topics is sufficient for a juicy script but perhaps the playwright, Andy De, could have utilized the most obvious topic- Sexting as inspiration for his piece.
The only imaginative element in the show occurred thanks to the amazing acting abilities of The Phones (Margaret Brown and Michael Reilly). They utilized effective comedic delivery techniques, coupled with awesome dialects to deliver text messages and conversations that occasionally transpired during Mr. De’s narrative. Each transition, from Mr. Reilly’s amazingly accurate Jersey Shore Mom accent to Ms. Brown’s dead-on Siri-like vocal intonation, showcased hilarious range. Additionally, they also assisted with hasty scene changes effortlessly.
I have come to enjoy DC Fringe Festival because it is an open and uninhibited platform for performers and writers. Yet #Sexts’ borrowed plot lines left no room for the most important element of Fringe Shows- SURPRISE!