Monday, September 13, 2010

Meet the perfect boyfriend…the son of Satan, at convergence continuum

We've all heard the old joke about someone going on a date with a person who turns out to be the son of Satan. Well, in Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa's play, ‘SAY YOU LOVE SATAN,’ now in production at congruency-continuum, the premise is taken to the “reality” level. Well, reality, if you buy the premise. And, in the author's imagination, the devil is, "Evil incarnate, has a six-pack, shoulders this wide and zero percent body fat."

The script has been bannered as, “…a smart, hip comedy, and “up-to-the-millennium commentary on the all-too-human impulse to dabble on the dark side.” It's also been stated, “Aguirre-Sacasa doesn't quite know where he wants to take us. First, we're charmed with a satirically clever, gay romantic romp replete with campy characters. Then he flirts with a few serious scenes before falling back into comedy.” He just gives up at the end and stops the action without it making much sense other than that the nice cute guys get back to being boyfriends.

The story concerns Andrew, a graduate student hiding out at the laundromat rather than facing his saintly boyfriend, Jerrod, who is just too nice for Andrew, who is full of insecurities. Between the rinse and spin cycles, Andrew meets Jack, he of the perfect physique and mystical charm. Now Jack has a"666" mark hidden on his forehead (oh ho!), and a limp that starts when the sun comes up (more oh ho!), but those signs sneak right past our naïve Andrew. You know, some people always fall for the bad boy.

This is the kind of script that cc's artistic director Clyde Simon loves. It's full of sexual innuendos, allows for almost all the male cast to cavort in nearly no clothing, and appeals to a cult audience, in this case a mainly gay audience. It also has fun lines such as, '"Are you a Satanist?" Andrew asks Jack. "No," he replies sheepishly. "But my father…he's the Devil."

Scott Gorback is properly geeky as the naïve Andrew. Lauren Smith (Bernadette), she of purple hair, serves well as the fag-hag. Stuart Hoffman (Jerrod) is very, very sweet as the good boyfriend. Zac Hudak inhabits the flaming gay bad boyfriend role.
Tyson Rand guards the gay night club as the pot-bellied bear of a bouncer. Tony Thai appears in various roles, including being a male stripper.

Then there is handsome Lukas Roberts, evil incarnate, with a sculpted body, who spends much of the play in nothing except various colored very brief form fitting tighty-whities. (That sentence alone ought to guarantee cc sold out houses of gay males.)

What's Aguirre-Sacasa trying to say? Beats me. How about, don't get mixed up with the devil? Or, carry a canister of salt in case your date starts acting weird and grows horns? How about, you're judged by the friends you keep? Or, is the message, “I know how to get a bunch of gay guys into the theatre…put hunky Lukas Roberts in tiny briefs that leave nothing to the imagination."

Capsule Judgement: Go to see SAY YOU LOVE SATAN with the right attitude. This is not a great script. The production is not great. But, you can have a good time if you aren't expecting to see a play that says much and teaches less.