Roaring spectators stroke their folded programs as Jason Michael Snow guides them through the perfect hand job to the melody of “Fever.” The audience’s images are projected onto the stage as they perform the four-step combination that makes their playbills feel like they’re being treated right.
It should go without saying that timidity isn’t allowed at “Sex Tips for Straight Women from a Gay Man,” which opens at the 777 Theatre on Feb. 9.
Based on the popular book by Dan Anderson and Maggie Berman, the play is a hilarious, raunchy, delightful comedy that will make you smile despite your years of cotillion. The action is set at Midtown Manhattan Community College, where Dan, played by Snow, is making an appearance at the Rendezvous with Alternative Authors of the Modern Era forum. Of course, his plans for the evening are a little more interactive than first-time moderator Robyn (Lindsay Nicole Chambers) expects. Meanwhile, the all-too-hunky scientist/eventual stripper Stefan (Andrew Brewer) spices up the already tense ambiance with his sensual accent and tight-fitting tee that doesn’t stay on his body for long.
As Dan walks Robyn through the chapters of his book, audience members are chosen at random to participate. Some rub Stefan’s pectorals, while others are blindfolded as they mimic particular hand gestures to the stylings of the Supremes. Along the way, there’s a huge phallus à la “Lysistrata”, a juicer, a man dressed in drag, a documentary on ape sex, and a kiss that will make you swoon.
Snow, previously seen in the original cast of “The Book of Mormon,” delivers in this off-Broadway exercise in energy. He’s upbeat, dynamic, and silly—a carnal Confucius with a heart of gold. He never fails to grab a chuckle from his viewers, who fall madly in love with him no matter their sexuality. Whether he is seductively strutting by prospective suitors in a pretend bar or giving a pep talk, he is whimsical, enticing, and oh so cute.
Chambers is also endearing in her performance as Robyn, the awkward young professor—the kind that every Columbia student meets over the span of his or her undergraduate career. However, the most captivating character is Stefan, artfully portrayed by Brewer. An aspiring astronaut who really is too sexy for his shirt, he can rock a hot pink kimono and still be the yummiest treat at Insomnia.
With Valentine’s Day on its way, if you’re looking for something new to heat up your love life, “Sex Tips” provides a good laugh and a few really helpful tutorials for after the roses and chocolate. Written by Matt Murphy and directed by Tim Drucker, this play is naughty, irreverent, and refreshing. It doesn’t take itself too seriously—the actors improvise, and every night promises a different experience to suit the mood. It’s hot. It’s hysterical. It may even be better than sex.
“Sex Tips for Straight Women from a Gay Man” opens Sunday at the 777 Theatre (777 8th Ave.). Tickets start at $49.69.