My First Time
It's a cute idea: set up a website that encourages people to submit their story of how/when/where/with whom they lost their virginity (what's the opposite of that, by the way? when you lose your virginity, you find your _______ ...?); take the best of the lot, and hire four reasonably talented actors to bring them to life with dramatic readings on stage.
A cute idea... but then, as Debbie and I were watching its Off-Broadway realization, My First Time, it occurred to me that, for the most part, people's virginity-losing tales aren't really all that interesting. In fact, sitting here now some two weeks after we saw the show, I can't remember a single story in any detail, beyond the unsurprising fact that some people were drunk, some were in love, some were simply bored, some were date-raped. Sure, there were a few chuckles to be had, a few genuinely tender moments, a few times when there was actually some sexiness to all the sex. And each audience member is asked to fill out an (anonymous) questionnaire about their first time, and the answers, read aloud on stage, provide some rapid-fire relief to the show's pacing. And two of the actors—Kathy Searle, above, and Marcel Simoneau—did a great job, we thought, bringing a welcome variety of expression and personality to their share of the stories. But really, it all seemed a bit remote, the staging cold and awkward, the whole thing a bit too nothing-new. Maybe they should do a sequel, called My Most Recent Time, and have the actual protagonists, including audience members, get up on stage and describe that experience.
My First Time is currently at the New World Stages, on 50th Street between Eighth and Ninth Avenues. The show is 90 minutes long, and tickets cost a ridiculous $59. Thankfully, Debbie bought our seats at a discount... I really wouldn't recommend paying anything above half price for this.