Off-Off Broadway Review

Verbal swordplay, snake oil, and low farce


By Lissa Moira and Richard West
Directed by Lissa Moira

Previously produced in a different format at the Theater for the New City, this quartet of vignettes proves to be a literally carnal kaleidoscope of sexual foibles and politics.

“Poetic Injustice” opens with a man cruising a New Age psychic. Having lured her back to his room, he’s thrown for a loop to find out she’s actually a holistic whore. Moira’s panache with verbal swordplay is impressive, often providing a cascade of sharply written triple entendres and intertextual references. (When told he needs a “reality check,” the man replies that “the bank put a stop on my reality check.”) But, more memorably, there is a darker undertow about how crass concerns override lofty verbiage.

“Sexlax” is a good-natured satiric piece aimed at those omnipresent peddlers of psychiatric snake oil: pop sexologists. Comedic devices such as naming the patients in question “Mr. and Mrs. Needmore” are a touch too obvious, but the sketch gets across with consistently amusing feel the hucksterism involved in “teaching” people behavior that should be perfectly natural.

“Sexlax” was followed by Richard West’s own “musical interlewd,” “Coastal Complexes.” With one side of his face made up as a woman and the other as a man, West engaged in a guitar-accompanied war of put-downs over which coast (East or West) is more “real.” West has a real gift for absurdist imagery.

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