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Genet Porno

  • Theater
  • 2 out of 5 stars
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Time Out says

2 out of 5 stars

Genet Porno: Theater review by Jenna Scherer

What did downtown theatergoers do to deserve Genet Porno? Have we angered some avant-garde god who hates us and wants us to suffer? It's the only feasible explanation for this hard-to-stomach mash-up, a grueling marathon of simulated sex and Jean Genet–inspired voiceovers that feels much longer than its 90-minute running time.

To brew his concoction, creator-director-choreographer-designer-star Yvan Greenberg combined Our Lady of the Flowers, Genet's early work of queer erotica, with the video diaries of an amateur porn director named Damon Dogg. Talk about your high and low art. The result is a listless, uncomfortable series of scenes in which men with realistic-looking strap-ons writhe around on a bare mattress, tugging, sucking and humping their rubber dicks, alternately moaning and speaking along to prerecorded internal monologues. The effect is shocking for about five minutes, and thereafter deeply dull. Maybe Greenberg is trying to make a point about the numbing effect of perpetual titillation; but geez, does he have to make us sit through it?

In Oleg Dubson and Joe Joseph, Greenberg has found two very game performers who are (no pun intended) up for anything. Dubson, as melancholy drag queen Divine, is a magnetic performer—which makes you wish he had something more interesting to act than dramatic sighs and multiple orgasms. Joseph makes what he can of his various gasping, panting characters. Then there's Greenberg himself, playing both the leering Damon and Genet's titular Our Lady, who first appears to us naked and doesn't really let up from there. His stage presence is awkward, and his voice as Damon bears an unpleasant resemblance to Kermit the Frog's.

The endless bacchanal is scored to music by Ravel and Debussy, backed by real and faux Genet language and declarations like: "Darling's penis is the object of my pure luxury." We also hear a whole lot about Damon's Starbucks preferences and camera equipment. It all culminates in a bleak final scene that involves latex blindfolds, stage fog and—you guessed it—further writhing. It's hard to tell whether Genet Porno is going for pure nihilism or some deeper message about sex and death. Either way, you'll probably just be relieved when it's over.—Jenna Scherer

HERE (Off-Off Broadway). Written and directed by Yvan Greenberg. Adapted from Jean Genet and Damon Dogg. With Greenberg, Oleg Dubson, Joe Joseph. Running time: 1hr 30mins. No intermission.

Details

Event website:
here.org
Address:
Contact:
212-647-0202
Price:
$20
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