BOTTOM LINE: There are no accidents.
The Accidental Pervert is a very funny play that explores the perils of opening that metaphorical Pandora’s Box at the back of your dad’s closet. When the contents turn out to be an extensive catalogue of XXX-rated videos, porn unexpectedly becomes one of the prime motivating factors in a young, impressionable boy’s life.
Andrew Goffman’s amusing and surprisingly touching one-man show currently running at the Players Theatre chronicles his experiences from the day he innocently ventured into his parents' bedroom as they were on the cusp of a divorce, through an adolescence and young adulthood marked by varying levels of obsession/addiction to porn. Goffman is a fine comedian and successfully sells a quirky script with an ease and a charm that allow the play to be engaging longer than it has the right to be.
Set in a typical teenage boy’s bedroom circa 1979 – 1985, and marked by stylistic touches that in lesser hands would have been met with groans, Goffman, along with director Charles Messina, ably keeps the show clipping along at a pace that mines the maximum amount of laughs, but prevents any one moment from being contemplated too intensely.
About half way through the performance I started to wonder: Where is this going? A play about porn will always get attention, will most likely be funny, and will probably resonate (admittedly or not) with a lot of folks, but I was struggling to understand what, ultimately, Goffman had to say and why this story must be told. As the third act (by that I mean the last 30 minutes of the play, not the act that comes after the second intermission – there aren’t any intermissions) started to unfold, my questions were answered and the play that started out as little more than a masturbation monologue, turned into something much more fulfilling.
(The Accidental Pervert plays at The Players Theatre, 115 MacDougal Street. Performances are Thursdays, Friday, and Saturday at 7PM. Tickets are $30 and are available at theatremania.com or 212.352.3101. For more information and full schedule, visit at theaccidentalpervert.com.)