I decided to see The Accidental Pervert after reading several reviews, thinking it would be an interesting thing to do for an early Friday night. Funny, witty, gross, poignant and overall thought provoking, the play was much more than I expected. Not only did the performance make me laugh out loud, but it made me think deeply about our cultural relationship to sex, perversion and sexual addictions. The impact of the play lasted well after it ended and sparked several deep conversations with friends and colleagues about love and sex.
In America, we continue to live in a very conservative society founded on fundamentally puritanical values. Sex is itself misused and abused. As a society we have borderline pathological obsession with sex, and yet have very few frank discussions about it. As a fairly taboo subject, it’s no wonder why the pornography business does rather well despite the overall poor economic climate. We’re obsessed with sex even though we don’t talk about it. We ignore it. The days of going to seedy parts of town to somewhat secretly watch “dirty movies” has been replaced by seedy websites. And it’s not just websites. The ease at which pornography is now available online is astonishing. In some ways it can be seen as a positive thing because it frees some of our strict taboos, and in others a very destructive force to some who develop an addiction that can ruin families and destroy lives.
Andrew Goffman approaches the subject matter in a bold, yet respectful way. Parts of the performance made me uncomfortable, but I always felt great sympathy – and empathy – for the main character. It is easy at times to judge the main character as a pervert, or as someone who is sick, but it’s also easy to take a step back and judge society’s role in helping to further the main character’s addiction. I recommend viewers watch the play with an open mind and really explore the feelings it evokes. I think this play does an exceptional job in dealing with a tough and taboo subject matter. I think this is a great “off the beaten path” performance to take in. Anyone visiting NYC who would appreciate a strange and authentic Manhattan experience would really be entertained – and perhaps even educated -by this show. In fact, I guarantee it’s something you’ll be talking about long after you see it.