A penis parade
Poughkeepsie Porn Co.
Sacramento, CA 95811
If you suspect that local productions of sex farces have gotten too tame, he Lambda Players have a boner—uh, bone to pick with you.
Their latest production is the premiere of a new play by local writers Matthew Burlingame (Paperclip Messiah), who also directs, and Tom Swanner (Opening Lines). Poughkeepsie Porn Co. is set in the office and studio of a small-time porn company. The Internet is killing them with easily available porn (yes, that’s what the Internet is for); their scripts all involve a pizza delivery guy, a cop or a plumber; they’re having trouble making payroll; and they don’t have a star to play “top” to the troupe’s many “bottoms.” That means the absentee owner is about to pull the plug on what’s billed as “America’s oldest gay porn company.”
Enter Jack Mehoff (Brian Judd), newly returned from a European vacation with a top-notch top, Tor (Clint Vigen). He’s there to save the company, with new historical scripts involving figures from gay history, starting with Harvey Milk. Gosh, that’s not going to offend anyone, is it?
Complications include an under-the-covers spy from a rival company, Dick Dastardly (Christian St. Croix), and a bunch of protesting, mullet-wearing lesbians (offstage, of course). Then Tor, a gentle giant, falls in love with company manager Herbie Handcock (Michael Hedges), which has complications best explained by invoking the fluidity of sexual preferences, if not orientation—yeah, everything goes topsy-turvy.
And obviously, this show is for adults only.
The plot is, in fact, as tissue-thin as any sex farce, which means it’s much more complicated than most porn. There are plenty of cheap laughs and a number of particularly witty one-liners.
But the real meat of this play is in the meat. Yep, lots and lots of male full frontal nudity, not to mention more bare bottoms than you can spank. Between Tor and the three “bottoms” (James W. Geisdorf, Lance Navarro and Alan Smithee), it’s chock-full of eye candy for gay men and straight women and, like all good comedies, includes a number of rapid-fire entrances and exits, thwarted love, and comeuppance for the bad guy in the end.
Poughkeepsie Porn Co. does, however, seem to exist in a fantasy world where no one ever worries about STDs or safe sex—a far remove from the real world of gay male porn. Of course, wrapping those rascals wouldn’t be as—oh, it feels so wrong to say “titillating” in this context, but that’s kinda what this is: penises on parade. Since part of the fun is taking a peek, director Burlingame opted to skip the latex that these fellows would no doubt be using in the real world.
And a word here about set decoration: Real porn posters and videos share space with baskets and shelves full of sex toys, many of outrageous proportion. Rather than the lovely, upscale decorating Lambda often does, they’ve opted for a definite low-rent vibe that works exceptionally well, giving the guys plenty of room to frolic and to engage in a climactic dildo duel that would put the Three Musketeers to shame.