City Paper is not for tourists
Logan Fringe Arts Space—Trinidad Theatre (tickets available here)
Tuesday, July 14 at 7:15 p.m. Friday, July 17 at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 21 at 8 p.m. Saturday, July 25 at 6:30 p.m.
They say: Life is a real cloaca sometimes. (thanks autocorrect?) Things get complicated. People change. You change. Your mom still texts you in all caps. #SEXTS is about how technology helps and hinders our relationships, often comically, lolz.
Andrew’s take: When a play’s title is a hashtag followed by a word that didn’t exist ten years ago, there shouldn’t be too much surprise regarding the target audience. But there’s still a bit of false advertising at work here, in the sense that The Coil Project’s #SEXTS improbably tries to be more than an easy-laugh series of raunchy cell phone jokes. It even manages several different stories, barely any of which have to do with sex as a carnal activity. If the play still ultimately feels a bit shallow, it’s because it’s wading in a much deeper pool than anticipated.
We follow six millennials (yes, yes, of course), each dealing in their own way with failures of communication including but not limited to the play’s namesake. Text messages here are rendered by two voiceover actors standing in the back of the stage, who recite their passages in Siri-esque monotone except when a Jewish mother is needed. (The show should’ve had more texting, but oh well.) We first meet the heroes at a friend’s wedding, where Blake (Erik Harrison, Coil Project creative director) is a heavy drinker with a girlfriend (Emily Mullin) who seems to always regard him with suspicion. Meanwhile, Vicky (Rebecca Fischler), nursing a bad breakup, will discover she’s pregnant thanks to a hookup with a guy into Golden Girls fanfiction. And another has a mom at home dying from cancer, and so on.
With so many storylines and only an hour runtime, #Sexts can’t help but feel sitcom-trivial — particularly with so many pop-culture references, two characters who only exists for laugh lines, noticeaby underdeveloped women, and resolutions that don’t resolve anything. But the cast has a deft sense of comic timing, particularly Harrison. And writer-director Andy De occasionally unveils some clever theatrical gimmick to play on the phone thing, like a heated text exchange-turned-swordfight. When the production lets its weird side out, things get exciting.
See it if: You’re not above laughing at dick-pic jokes.
Skip it if: You have ever gone a day without checking your phone.