Someone in Washington has staged a play on being black and gay titled “Booty Candy,” and unsurprisingly, Washington Post drama critic Peter Marks is there to provide the blurb: “Funny, smutty, and on the whole, enticingly subversive.” The Post picture showed a black male preacher in glittery drag in front of a cross.
What Marks fails to reveal in this review: frontal male nudity on stage, a display of the show’s title, apparently. Anthony Weiner should be envious. The blog The Education of Jarvis Slacks appreciated the cultural education:
And then, after intermission, it pushed us past our expectations as one of the actors took his penis out and slapped it on a table set piece.
I was more stunned than anything else.
Not just by the penis on the table. That wasn't stunning. I was stunned that I was very comfortable. I was enjoying myself. I laughed and I laughed and I stopped and thought and I thought. I was enlightened and entertained, which is what any play can hope to do. The play was trying to give us a message that gay, black men have the unique situation of being double ostracized, of being plagued with a level of scrutiny and discrimination than most people could ever know. In a part of the play, the meta part, where the actors spoke as if they were the play's playwrights, one of the actors said that they wanted us to "choke" on the message of the play. The writing of the play was difficult. The digestion of the play should be difficult. They wanted us to choke.
The closest Marks came to describing the weiner on the table: “But there's more than enough talent on display here to please an adventurous crowd, for the assorted confections of "Booty Candy" hold onto their tart flavors mighty juicily.” This was his summary paragraph, after describing one lesbian telling another lesbian to go f— herself:
It's an unexpectedly uproarious punch line to the end of a civil union, intoned expertly by Jessica Frances Dukes in Robert O'Hara's funny, smutty and, on the whole, enticingly subversive "Booty Candy." The world-premiere evening of playlets, directed by the playwright and performed by a well-nigh perfect cast of five at Woolly Mammoth Theatre, is a toxically satiric portrait of American life, as it is experienced by someone who is black and gay.
In the Post's Going Out Guide, Lavanya Ramanathan explained that the theater entrepreneur here, artistic director Howard Shalwitz of the Woolly Mammoth Theater, wanted another saucy title after starting his season with The Vibrator Play:
Shalwitz insisted that while the show would close the season, the name "Bootycandy" -- like "The Vibrator Play," an advertisement in and of itself -- that was nonnegotiable.
Shalwitz had faith in O'Hara, having seen him work his voodoo at Woolly in 2009's "Antebellum," which blended the story of a Jewish family in the "Gone With the Wind" South with that of the goings-on in a Nazi camp.