Review "F#cking Men": Porn with a Real Storyline!

Bailiwick Chicago presents

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F#CKING MEN
At Theatre Building Chicago/Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont
Written by Joe DiPietro
Directed by Tom Mullen

Thru August 29th
Buy Tickets
Running Time:  Ninety minutes with no intermission

Reviewed by Katy Walsh

‘With girls you have to take them to dinner or be nice to them.  Guys you just need to look at them.’  Bailiwick Chicago presents F#CKING MEN, a play about the complex and simplistic sex lives of ten gay guys.  Building on the gay modified three degrees of separation theory, the show tightens the connection to one degree.  And that degree would be a close encounter of the f#cking kind.  A hooker, soldier, graduate student, college student, married guy, the other married guy, porn star, playwright, actor, journalist, hooker.   Each character has his own story that overlaps into another’s.  The connector  is sex.  It’s just sex!  The hook-up is pleasure without emotional entanglement.  Several of the guys are in committed relationships but require extracurricular activity.  Tony-Award winning playwright Joe DiPietro chose Chicago as the stage for the third production of F#CKING MEN since its 2008 premiere in London.  DiPietro worked closely with Director Tom Mullen for poignant snippets of guys on Grinder.  F#CKING MEN is all about the verb not the adjective.  It’s porn with a real storyline.

 

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Under DiPiertro’s script and Mullen’s direction, the show goes 360 degrees with interlocking passionate soliloquies and pleasurable nudity.  The entire cast is hot AND talented.  Getting off first, Cameron Harms (Steve) is the conflicted military man struggling for self acceptance.   Professional whores, Arthur Luis Soria (John) and Christian Kain Blackburn (Ryan) separate sex from romance with vulnerable determination.  With bulging limbs begging to be climbed, Karmann Bajuyo (Jack) could be the adjective description of the show.  Instead, Bajuyo plays out his sexual prowess with cheerful matter-of-fact sincerity.  Cameron Johnson (Kyle) and Ryan Lanning (Sammy) exploit gay stereotypes to hilarious proportions.  Norm Woodel (Donald) is charming and wise fulfilling his needs.  Along with resigned Thad Anzur (Leo), brave Beau Forbes (Brandon) and uncertain Armand Fields (Marco), complicated stories unfold on a minimalist and spectacular set designed by John Rotonda.

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The show engages the audience in connecting characters to real life.  Gay relationships get put under the microscope.   F#CKING MEN stirs up questions. Is there ever ‘the one’ in the gay community?  Or is it all about that eventually “you meet somebody else”?  As a straight woman blessed with a healthy gay entourage, my questions are tainted with intrigue and jealousy.  Are my couple friends monogamous?  Why can’t I disconnect and have satisfying, meaningless sex?  Isn’t it enough they have better porn?  Why do the gays get unlimited sex opportunities?  WTF?

Someone I want to continue the conversation with, Scott- dds says the show is “relevant, complex, a little sobering, and very realistic at capturing the lives of gay men.”

WAITING FOR THE SHOW
With a Groupon expiring next week, we dine at Marigold’s Restaurant, 4832 N. Broadway.  It’s tagline is Indian-Modern-Food-Authentic.  Strategically, we have six people present so we can utilize two Groupons for $90 off the bill.  We start with two servings of Samosa.  All together it’s four flaky pastry dumplings filled with spiced potato & peas, served with mint & onion date chutney.  It is spicy…heat and flavor.  The mint chutney adds a refreshing finish.  Through some clever negotiations, I’m able to thrupple my way into Bill and Roger’s orders.  I end up with both Lamb Vindaloo and Tandoori Chicken with heaps of naan to slop it up with.  Everything is robust and tender with a festival of tastes.  Delicious! Despite a wonderful dinner with a plethora of male attention, the next step isn’t sex in the bedroom.  It’s sex on stage! That’s F-ed up!

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  • You're right: The gays do have better porn. However, the men in straight porn are often hotter than the ones in gay porn.

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