Skip to comments.Penis Puppetry Show Opens in Los Angeles
Posted on 08/23/2002 10:20:29 PM PDT by wannabpoolshark
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Some actors use their eyes. Others perform from the heart. In "Puppetry of the Penis," David "Friendy" Friend and Simon Morley rely on an organ not previously known for its acting skills.
In their wildly popular stage show, the well-endowed Australians twist and shape their penises into a series of "installations" -- a hamburger, the Eiffel Tower, the Loch Ness monster -- to the gasps, guffaws and sometimes pained expressions of audiences on three continents.
The show opened last week in Los Angeles with performances sold out in advance despite up-and-down reviews that spent a lot of time making puns and revealing plot twists and turns.
As Daily Variety critic Timothy Gray reported: "In the history of theater, there have been some great titles -- 'The Tempest, 'A Doll's House,' 'Death of a Salesman' -- but few names have summed up the content of a show as succinctly as 'Puppetry of the Penis;' anyone buying a ticket will pretty much know what they're in for. It's not exactly theater and it sure ain't high art, but it's definitely a one-of-a-kind experience. Something to tell the grandchildren about."
Wearing nothing but shoes, socks and fantastically decorated capes, Morley and Friend practice what they call "The Ancient Art of Genital Origami," or "dick tricks." The show originated in their native Australia as a series of barroom tricks.
The contorted creations are projected onto gigantic 16-foot screens behind the performers to give every audience member a front-row peep.
"When you see it on a 16-by-16 screen which is completely filled with penis it's more than just an internal exploration," Morley said. "It's quite educational for a lot of women -- especially lots of older ladies who have only seen one or two penises in their lives."
His partner totally agreed. "For them to have a look at a penis on a big screen three stories high -- it's quite an experience for them. It demystifies it," Friend told Reuters.
The men consider themselves a sort of perverse alternative to "The Vagina Monologues," the hit play about women musing about their sexual organ. "We're the men's version because girls like to talk about it and boys like to show it," Friend said.
"It is secret man's business -- we've brought it out of the closet and taken it way too far," Morley said.
Morley also claims that the show is "completely non-sexual. For a couple of guys prancing around the stage naked, it's actually a very clean show. We don't say any swear words."
Morley and Friend, who are in their early 30s, hooked up in Melbourne in 1998 after crafting their performances independently at pubs, girls' nights out and bachelorette parties.
The path to stardom included stops at far-flung cattle stations where they performed on stages fashioned from bales of hay and sheets and an audience member shone a flashlight on their genitals.
"My mother has been to the show now," Friend said. "She just wishes it was someone else's son. She said, 'I thought it was very funny but I still prefer musicals."' Morley's mom had not seen him naked since he was a baby, the performer said.
The pair thrust themselves onto a larger stage in 2000 by performing their oddball routine at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. There, they were spotted by a stage producer, who booked them a run in London's West End.
The London show and tours in Canada and New York elicited lukewarm reviews but fervid responses at the box office.
A New York Times reviewer wondered why the "juvenile novelty act" was so "dumbfoundingly popular," but night after night of sell-out crowds kept the off-Broadway show open for 11 months. The production's West Coast debut has been its most profitable North American stop, with shows sold out for weeks in advance, a spokeswoman said.
WHERE'S THE PUPPETS
"There are no puppets and there are no strings," Friend declared at the opening of the show. "We should all be expecting full frontal male nudity!"
With that, the buff performers throw back their capes and give the crowd a lengthy gaze at the true stars of the show. They keep up a running patter of puns as they twist and squeeze their members into unlikely shapes that they insist are not painful.
"For all the lovers in the room, will you please cop an eyeful of the Eiffel Tower!" Friend says. "If you look close enough you can actually see the people milling around on the top."
The two men said that they foresee an extended run of the show in Los Angeles and then they plan to mount a production in Denmark if they are not destroyed by puns first.
"I once had this 80-year-old lady come up to me after a show and say, 'Son, I've been waiting years to laugh at a penis like that.' That's job satisfaction," Morley said.
Somehow, I doubt the people in attendance will bear grandchildren.
One of the worst lines for any man to hear..........
If I had a penis that could do those things, I think I could put it to better use than that...
And they voted for them in 92, 96, and 2000.
The pair thrust themselves onto a larger stage in 2000 by performing their oddball routine at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
It was far from porn and plenty of bachlorette parties as well as married couples were in attendance. One man with his wife was an older lawyer, perhaps age 60.
Bottom line, dont go if you dont want to.
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