The Best Sex of the XX Century Sale is a two-hour blur of rear ends squished into fishnet stockings, dime-shop wigs, and shirtless men parading across the Theater for the New City. Best is also a cacophony of every absurd accent imaginable, popular songs turned into crude sexual innuendo, and the horrible hum made by a near-silent audience at a comedic performance.
The show promises to be a review of sexual history across the last hundred years, and it certainly delivers on that. Lissa Moira, the writer and director, uses an auction of sexual tools, artifacts, norms, and abnormalities to satirize our society's obsession with all that is phallic and/or vaginal. She definitely covers the bases. The show is divided into what seems like 250 30-second skits, each of which seems to parody both a popular song and a popular sexual something.
A sexual anything, as the case may be. Moira takes on everything from horizontal flappers to the horrible task some doctor had of checking for Princess Di's, well, virginity. By the end of the show, no sexual stone is left unturned, the effect of which made me woozy.
Best Sex is neither charming nor humorous. The lyrical parodies might be funny when you're drunk off boxed wine, but unfortunately I made the mistake of drinking from the bottle before the show. A rendition of "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" with the line "Smoke gets in your schlong" speaks for itself. As does the fact that the biggest laugh during the show's first hour was at a Marlon Brando fat joke.
Maybe the most unforgivable aspect of Best Sex is the length. Two hours starting at 10:30 on a Friday night is fine for, say, a five-course meal, but by the last 20 minutes of this show even the piano player was mouthing to the audience, "I'm so [expletive] tired." Judging by the cast members' drooping eyes (and falling voices), they too could have used a brief intermission. Or at least another chug from the box.
What kept me interested in the show was the exuberant performance of the charming Emily Brownell and the wry humor of "Calypso Man" Miron Lockett. Each time Lockett, with his long dreads, shimmied onto the stage, he seemed to smile ironically as if to say, "And just why, exactly, am I walking back out here?"
I, for one, was relieved that this show did not emit an odor, although I cringe to think of the taste