‘Sex’: Sexist to the Nth And Extremely Funny

If you are coming to see a work of new, jaw-dropping ideas about the differences and similarities between men and women, then boy, did you take a wrong turn

    Sunday’s matinee performance of “Sex: What She’s Really Thinking,” by Ilene Beckerman and Michael Disher, was packed, and an appreciative audience filled the Southampton Cultural Center with laughter throughout the show.

    If you are coming to see a work of new, jaw-dropping ideas about the differences and similarities between men and women, then boy, did you take a wrong turn. If you want to hear about how men want sex while women want love, about how babies ruin your sex life, about unhappily married couples (he wants guess what and she doesn’t), then you have come to the right place.

    The writing is sexist to the nth degree, full of rash generalizations, and doesn’t contain a single original idea.

    That being said, it is extremely funny.

    Done as a series of short unrelated skits (think “Laugh In,” if you can remember it), “Sex” features an outstanding cast of five women and two men, who perform perhaps 100 different roles in the 90-minute production.

    The show has its moments of raunch as women discuss, well, sex and what they’re really thinking, along with vibrators, Viagra, and vaginas. “Once you go with the toy, you never go back to the boy,” says one woman.

    Amy Rowland, in a sex-kitten outfit, skips on and off the stage as a between-scenes palate-cleanser, with a series of sexed-up nursery rhymes and playground poems: “Peter, Peter, pumpkin eater, had a wife and didn’t appreciate her.” “Jack and Jill went up the hill, each with a buck and a quarter. Jill came back down with two-and-a-half. Go, Jill!” (Didn’t Andrew Dice Clay make that joke circa 1985?)

    In between the scenes of men wanting to watch porn and have threesomes, and women who don’t want to have sex anymore, there are a few moments of poignancy, mostly about how women view themselves. Spoiler alert: It’s never favorably.

    But mostly, men complain about having to stay faithful to their wives, and women complain about how their husbands can’t get it up anymore. Basically, nobody is happy.

    Bonnie Grice and Matthew O’Connor are particularly notable in their many roles, although the entire ensemble performs admirably. The actors move five bright red chairs around throughout the fast-paced show; the TVs on the sides of the stage feature Ms. Beckerman’s famous doodles and the name of each skit. Mr. Disher directs with grace and style.

    This is a recent collaboration between Ms. Beckerman (best known for her book “Love, Loss, and What I Wore”) and Mr. Disher, who is the artistic director of the center. Hopefully, the two will continue to bounce ideas off each other, communicate openly, get rid of what doesn’t work, keep what does work, remember to have fun with it, and venture forth to nurture their work together — all of the ingredients for a happy and healthy marriage of the minds.

    The show runs for one more weekend. Catch it while you can.bright red chairs around throughout the fast-paced show; the TVs on the sides of the stage feature Ms. Beckerman’s famous doodles and the name of each skit. Mr. Disher directs with grace and style.

    This is a recent collaboration between Ms. Beckerman (best known for her book “Love, Loss, and What I Wore”) and Mr. Disher, who is the artistic director of the center. Hopefully, the two will continue to bounce ideas off each other, communicate openly, get rid of what doesn’t work, keep what does work, remember to have fun with it, and venture forth to nurture their work together — all of the ingredients for a happy and healthy marriage of the minds.

    The show runs for one more weekend. Catch it while you can.