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  •  REVIEW: 7 BLOWJOBS

    7 Blowjobs

    Carrying a small shtick

    Mac Wellman's "7 Blowjobs" attempts to poke fun at right-wing prudes but its thin, repetitive script doesn't stand up for the play's entire two-act length.

    By JOSHUA TANZER
    Offoffoff.com

    On the day that the Supreme Court admitted it was wrong on sodomy laws and we marked the end of the Strom Thurmond era, it seemed the perfect evening for the play "7 Blowjobs" about what happens when a right-wing senator's office receives a package of seven indecent pictures. Unfortunately, the play — which premiered in 1991 and should only have gained in relevance through the Lewinsky scandals and other moralistic low points of the last decade — doesn't rise to the promise of its initial concept.

      
    7 BLOWJOBS
    Company: Thin Duke.
    Written by: Mac Wellman.
    Directed by: Philip Cruise.
    Cast: Philip Cruise, Madeleine Maby, Ken Mason, Edward Miller, Elizabeth Neptune, Billy Steel, Michael Whitney.
     SCHEDULE
    Trilogy Theatre
    341 West 44th St
    June 19 - July 13, 2003

    Gawking disapprovingly at the scandalous pictures, the senator's staff — Dot, Eileen and Bruce — inspect each murky one, trying to place body parts with the bodies they're part of. The play's badly overworked main joke — characters pointing and expressing shock at "that, that, and especially that," as if too shocked to name what they see — is stretched from the two minutes it's worth to the two acts that the play plods on. You expect some additional layer of involvement after the twentieth repetition of the same unilluminating lines, but there is very little. Beyond pointing in mock disbelief, playwright Mac Wellman simply has no ideas. Name-dropping references to right-wing think tanks, televangelists and Bob Jones University are supposed to tickle us just because we're part of the playwright's in crowd, but it's mockery without wit. It's boring. (Rush Limbaugh does the same thing, and he isn't as funny as he thinks either.)

    The dialogue is tediously repetitive, and the characters, rather than having personalities, are differentiated by their verbal tics. Eileen always says, "Bag it!" Dot always says, "Cripes!" Senator Bob always says, "Oh me oh my!" After the 30th "Bag it!" it's just annoying and hollow.

    What should be the play's climax, when we finally find out where the pictures came from and what's in them, falls flat as well. A more daring play could have gone a lot further with this premise. Was the senator himself mixed up in the scandal? Was some blackmail being threatened? Would some coverup have been attempted? Would deals have been cut? Would hypocrisies have been exposed? No, not in this play. As intermission gives way to a redundant act two, people are still just gawking and pointing. The characters are not involved in any personal way, and neither are we in the audience. A better playwright could have kept up the humor, intelligence and dramatic tension of this concept for the play's full length, but this one goes limp after a few minutes.

    JULY 13, 2003
    OFFOFFOFF.COM • THE GUIDE TO ALTERNATIVE NEW YORK


    Reader comments on 7 Blowjobs:

  • disgusting   from waldo, Oct 16, 2003
  • disagree: disgusting   from Brad, Nov 24, 2004
  • 7 Blowjobs   from Mark Watson, Feb 7, 2006
  • 7 Blowjobs   from Mark Watson, Feb 12, 2006
  • 7 Blowjobs   from Mark Watson, Mar 4, 2006

  • Post a comment on "7 Blowjobs"