Hey gay guys: If you really want to do your BFF a favor, get her a little drunk before taking her to “Sex Tips for Straight Women from a Gay Man,” currently playing in the Broward Center’s Abdo New River Room.
Based on the 1997 book with the same title, the interactive comedy is set in the auditorium of Fort Lauderdale Community College where the English Department’s monthly “meet the author” lecture, “Rendezvous with Alternative Authors of the Modern Era” (RAAME – pronounced “ram me”) is about to begin.
Bookish teaching assistant Robyn (Jacklyn Collier) rushes in to announce that Professor Marilyn Branecki has suddenly died. With the assistance of hunky A/V assistant Stefan (Brooks Christopher), she will be forced to interview the author herself.
But, flamboyant Dan Anderson (Sean Hankinson), author of “Sex Tips for Straight Women from Gay Men,” has other ideas, turning what could have been a tedious lecture into an effervescent game show with contestants pulled from the audience (this is where the drinks will come in handy).
The first game is “Name that Penis,” in which audience members suggest the moniker that will be used to refer to the male member for the remainder of the show. At this performance, “baloney pony” narrowly edged out “skin flute,” “custard launcher” and “Louisville slugger.”
While helping Robyn unleash her inhibitions, Anderson demonstrates various chapters from the book, appropriately named, “Women Need a Reason, Men Just Need a Place,” “Foreplay is More Play,” “Manual Labor” and “The Answer, My Friend, is Blowin’ in the Wind.”
Understandably terrified volunteers are brought up to the stage—again get that girl a drink—where they are taught the proper methods to jack their men off and a juicer and fresh fruit are used to demonstrate the steps to the ultimate blow job.
Hankinson (Dan) is likeable and relies on crack improvisational skills throughout the show, responding to the unwitting volunteers’ flustered comments and actions. A 1 p.m. Sunday matinee is not necessarily the best time to see this show, unless the audiences has been downing mimosas at brunch, but he adapted quickly and kept the pace moving with a largely sober (and obviously church-going) audience.
Collier has the most difficult role, walking the fine line between a prim and proper teacher who must become the student and eventually ditch those deep-seated inhibitions. Her shtick gets lots of laughs.
Cut, muscular Christopher is delicious as the earnest assistant, an Eastern European graduate student who dreams of going to space. Be sure to stick around to the end of the show (not everyone in the audience did) where he eventually has the audience seeing stars with a cosmically-inspired strip tease number.
“Sex Tips” is a silly, entertaining trifle, best suited for the type of “Off Broadway” venues where it became a late-night hit. Unfortunately, the cocktails at the Broward Center are just a little too expensive to ply the audience properly during the show.
If you’re going to take your best girlfriend, make sure to make a pit stop somewhere in the gayborhood, where the cocktails are strong and 2-4-1 most nights. Not only will your wallet thank you, but she’ll be more appreciative, especially if she winds up on stage.
And, if she thinks she really needs some help in the bedroom, you’d better buy the book.
“Sex Tips for Straight Women from a Gay Man” plays in the Broward Center’s Abdo New River Room in Fort Lauderdale through April 9. Tickets are $45 at BrowardCenter.org.