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Theater Review: The Accidental Pervert

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Improbable as it may sound, comedian/actor/writer Andrew Goffman and director Charles Messina have crafted a one-man play about a porn addict that’s both heartily funny and genuinely touching. A veteran of the comedy circuit, the indefatigable and charmingly goofy Goffman transforms the stuff of standup into a lighthearted but rich piece of theater. Neither a glorified comedy routine nor a plotless character study, The Accidental Pervert is a real play, albeit with a cast of one.

Goffman handles his uncomfortable subject matter with ease, riding on a powerful voice, penetrating gaze, sweet-but-tough persona, and a comic’s sense of timing. Aided by tightly integrated lighting and sound cues and cleverly placed props and clothing, he tells a twisted bildungsroman of a boy who compensates (after a fashion) for an absent father by immersing himself in said parent’s abandoned collection of porn videos. Though not above generating inexpensive laughs with explicit raunchiness and porn-movie pun-titles, he threads the obvious humor into a moving and psychologically aware narrative of sexual awakening, dissipated youth, amorous adventures, true love, and finally marriage and parenthood. Enlivening the monologue with plenty of physical humor and stage business, he captures the audience and pretty much never lets go.

I say “pretty much” because there are isolated moments when the sheer weight of Goffman’s task – carrying the whole story with only his own body and language – seems to get the better of him just a bit, so that a word or phrase is left detached from its context. Also, the last section of the play goes on a little too long, deviating from the overall succinctness. But such minor imperfections do not detract appreciably from this delightful and sparkling piece of work.

At the Triad Theater in New York City through February 24.

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About Jon Sobel

Jon Sobel is an Executive Editor of Blogcritics as well as lead editor of the Culture & Society section. As a writer he contributes most often to Culture, where he reviews NYC theater; he also covers interesting music releases. Through Oren Hope Marketing and Copywriting at you can hire him to write or edit whatever marketing or journalistic materials your heart desires. Jon also writes the blog Park Odyssey at where he visits every park in New York City. And by night he's a part-time working musician: lead singer, songwriter, and bass player for Whisperado, a member of other bands as well, and a sideman.
  • Chris Beaumont

    Sounds like an interesting, and, uh, touching show.