Blue Coyote Theater Group commissioned a group of playwrights to create 15-minute plays that explore the sex industry. The result is the nine plays that comprise Blue Coyote's Happy Endings and explore the industry from a wide range of genders and sexualities.
Matthew Freeman's The White Swallow, Brian Fuqua's The Guest, and Boo Killebrew's Pulling Teeth are the highlights of Happy Endings. The White Swallow stages a tryst between a married man (played by Matthew Trumbull) and a male escort (played by David DelGrosso) he hires to fulfill a fetish. The dialogue is clever, and the performances of the actors--Matthew Trumbull in particular--are priceless. The Guest stages the physical and psychic preparations of a gay couple for a male escort with a large endowment. The precision with which Brian Fuqua and F. Dash Vata perform the sum of gay stereotypes is side-splitting.
Last but not least, Pulling Teeth stages the sexual misadventures of the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, and Mrs. Claus. The highlight is the disclosure of the means through which the Tooth Fairy amasses the quarters she exchanges for teeth. R. Jane Casserly and Phillip Taratula offer comedic, mature, and schizophrenic performances as the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny. However, Tracey Gilbert steals the show with a memorable over-the-top performance as Mrs. Claus.
Blue Coyote's Happy Endings neither criticizes nor praises the producers and consumers of the sex industry. Rather, the industry serves as the background for a study of essential human behaviors, including the desires to love and be loved. Though the plays do not appeal to the conservative theatergoer (a couple exited during intermission at the performance I attended), the prescient explorations of human behavior and sexuality--by nine playwrights with unique voices--reflect the desires, experiences, frustrations, and hangups of the everyman and everywoman.
Presented by Blue Coyote Theater Group. Now through March 1, at the Access Theater, 380 Broadway. Tuesdays at 9:00 PM, Wednesdays through Saturdays at 8:00 PM. $18, smarttix.com.