By the time Butt Boy (Chris Marroy) is repeatedly screaming “Hit the spot,” it’s clear that Steven Dawson’s one-act play The Adventures of Butt Boy and Tigger is every bit as racy as the title suggests. Butt Boy and Tigger (Garrett Prejean) are in the final ecstatic moments of a sexual fantasy shared online and acted out in unison between the two small desks on stage at The Elm Theater.
The two men with goofy monikers and profiles claiming massive genital endowments meet online, briefly discuss the logistics of a face-to-face meeting and quickly opt instead for the immediate gratification of a shared fantasy. It’s a particularly graphic and pornographically cliched vision: a locker room meeting between a sweaty football player and a demanding coach. The mere mention of the words “girth” and “bulge” send Tigger into ecstatic groans, and neither Marroy nor Prejean let the scene devolve into cheap humor in spite of the over the top details. The earnestness they apply to the mutually masturbatory fantasies makes the first hour of the play gratuitously funny.
In subsequent chats, the scenarios get ever more detailed and absurd, including a couple of soldiers rutting in a trench in France during World War I. Porn is not about plot, but they throw themselves into the fantasies, lavishing their scenes with period and personal details and veering dangerously close to historical romance fiction.
From all the exchanges, graphic and otherwise, the men glean things about their anonymous partners, and the question of meeting in person returns. Neither they nor the audience is certain if anything they have said is accurate, and do the fantasies mask or reveal their true selves?
The drama debuted at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. The dialogue and simulated sexual gymnastics of the first hour are entertainingly provocative. The men’s attempt to meet is a much more humbling experience, and Prejean and Marroy handle it with as much sensitivity as they threw lusty abandon at their bizarre courtship. While they change tone beautifully, the script fails the revealed men by abandoning almost all the fetishized nuance and personal complications the piece reveled in earlier. It’s too tidy an ending for two people who’ve shared so much and so little. But Marroy and Prejean’s performances make it a refreshingly entertaining romp that also broaches the sometimes complicated ways people seek companionship.
Thru June 8
The Adventures of Butt Boy and Tigger
8 p.m. Thu.-Sat.
The Elm Theatre, 220 Julia St., (504) 218-0055
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