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Penny, the F*ckable Dolphin: based on a truthy story

Written by
Kris Vire
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You probably wouldn't guess that the Annoyance Theatre's wonderfully silly current show Penny, the F*ckable Dolphin: A Love Story, which I saw Wednesday night, was based on a true story. And, well, it's not quite. Officially, Penny is "inspired by the novel Wet Goddess by Malcom Brenner." Of course, you also have to know that Brenner maintains his novel is autobiographical, and based on his own consensual sexual relationship with a dolphin as a young man in Florida.

Penny, written by Kristina Felske and directed by Megan Johns, wears its goofy heart on its dorsal fin with its tale of a teenage virgin (the terrific Andy Junk, who reminded me of The State–era Michael Showalter) who finds himself telepathically seduced by a flirtatious dolphin who visits him in his dreams while working a summer job at an aquatic park. Aside from the superficial setup, the Annoyance's show bears little resemblance to Brenner's book—which raised the author's ire when he learned of it via a Google Alert, as Brenner detailed in a January 10 blog post.

All's now well on land and sea, though: After a back-and-forth between Brennan and the theater, the Annoyance agreed to the "inspired by" language rather than "based on," along with some cosmetic changes including switching the name of Junk's character from Zack (the same as Brennan's protagonist) to Mac, and the author was satisfied. Penny, the F*ckable Dolphin swims on, Wednesdays at 8pm through February 18.

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