Skin and sex sells, but does the storyline get to you?
Okay, so I did go to see it BUT only because it was a birthday treat by a very dear friend. I eventually became curious if this play can hold its own candle to Eve Ensler's more famous work. Second, I wanted to see what Ricky Lee has to say about men that we don't know yet. Third, I wanted to eat at Pasto, that eclectic restaurant right beside the Music Museum.
One hour into the show, I realized that my attention was going somewhere else ("Where are the waiters? I need water."). My four companions were either asleep or texting. Two hours of penis stories later, over Lavazza and cakes, J described the script as "contrived". I did notice too many loopholes and all I can say is that it needs focus. With a motley mixture of penis stories like this, it is easy to get lost. I wonder how it would have turned out if it were written by a straight male writer? Malay natin, 'di ba? Baka iba ang attack sa story. (Say, is Ms Ensler lesbian?! Just curious).
I am saddened that majority of the stories centered on, or almost always involved homosexual experiences. Sinasabi ko na nga ba, eh. Say for example the story of the sexually-molested boy played by Luis Alandy. I mean, the Dad not only rapes his daughter when the wife's not looking, he also rapes his son! Duh?! Is there actual Philippine statistics available to give credence to this story?
"Closer to burlesque", says Andrew Paredes of Manila Standard, who probably gave the most objective review I've read about the play.
Many writers have engaged in ass-kissing in order to please the venerable Ricky Lee but you know, talent isn't free from error. Bad things do happen, even to the best of us. I can't wait for Saturday! I'm finally watching HIMALA The Musicale. Ricky Lee definitely redeems himself in that.
"Never a dull moment", says one writer. He probably was seated within crotch-grabbing distance, I'd say!
All in all, short of becoming an owner's manual of their equipment, PENIS TALKS can be a liberating experience for those who connect to the individual stories. Unfortunately, as I said earlier, this isn't all about men and their penises. The height of this show being the 10-second kiss between Luis Alandy and Christian Vasquez (yep, I told you it's too gay.), I doubt it if this show will be remembered for its stories. Wanna bet?
I am bothered though by a tiny evil thought that most people who came to see it didn't come for the story. With the entire cast coming on stage in outfits that left nothing to the imagination, I can clearly see what made this play sell. No need to elaborate. Go figure.
While I must admit I did enjoy parts of it, thanks to predictable Pinoy humor and theatrical antics by Ricci Chan (who was the only gay guy in the cast), the whole thing fell flat on its face.
The great pasta dinner, coffee and conversation all made up for what could have been an interminable excruciating evening.