Broken Sex Doll (2014)

This review was previously posted during the March 2013 run.  Some cast changes may have been made.

Gili Roskies and Benjamin Elliott in Broken Sex Doll Credit: Bettina Strauss
Gili Roskies and Benjamin Elliott in Broken Sex Doll
Credit: Bettina Strauss

At the York Theatre until November 22, 2014

Re-posted on November 17, 2014

Don’t see this show unless you want to laugh your face off. It’s rude, rude, rude and funny, funny, funny. If you can’t bear to hear the following blanks filled in, Broken Sex Doll is definitely not for you: “c—k s—–g, mother-f—–g, son-of-a-bitch”. Otherwise, get ready to roll in the aisles. Forget about mascara; you’ll be wearing it all over your face when the curtain falls.

In this sci-fi, sex comedy musical, a world premiere produced by The Virtual Stage, Vancouver playwright Andy Thompson envisions the world in 2136 as a place where everybody’s having sex all the time wherever and with whomever they want. It’s the age of “feelies” – sensory experiences other people are having that you can download for a price whenever you want. Is someone sexier, better looking than you having better sex? Download it, dude. An ensemble of black leather-clad performers bumps and grinds to “Gimme what you’ve got.” It’s a wow opening number that had folks woo-hooing within minutes.

Oh, alright, like a well-worn bed in a scuzzy Marseille bordello, it sags in places. But the funny bits are so crazily, crudely, where-does-Thompson-get-these-ideas funny that you have to overlook those slower moving scenes. Broken Sex Doll would benefit from cutting and running it straight through without an intermission and then Thompson should tour it; blow some minds all across the land with, of course, the appropriate warnings. Wouldn’t want The Rest of Canada’s staid patrons to go into cardiac arrest.

Thompson is a bit of a one-man show: writer, director, producer and set designer (a pile of faux-cinder blocks). But he let Drew Facey stitch up all that black leather right down to butt-revealing thongs on a couple of the guys; and Itai Erdal was allowed to design the rock show lighting while Corwin Ferguson did the video design. The music for a dozen original songs was composed by Anton Lipovetsky but Thompson wrote the lyrics including “I’m Gonna Be Big” (with much nether parts gesturing) and the heart-wrenchingly funny, “What The Fu** Am I”. “Rise and Shine” was composed and is sung on stilts by Neezar who stars as The King, the top-of-the-sex-charts guy on the weekly TV show, This Week At the Feelies.

There’s a plot and you know where it’s going but not how it’s going to get there. The fembot (the Ginger 5000, a female robot) with really amazing abilities “down there” wants, against all electronic odds, to be loved. Gili Roskies is luscious, red-haired Ginger and the girl can sing, do sexy things, wear metallic turquoise spandex like a hot damn and clutch various boy parts fearlessly.

Neezar Credit: Bettina Strauss
Credit: Bettina Strauss

Benjamin Elliott is Daryl, a geeky, never-gets-lucky guy with the hots for Ginger although he has reservations about having a relationship with an “alternative human form”. But, hey, Ginger’s “incredible vaginal talents” including some mysterious, but repeatedly referred to “sparkly thingies” is so amazing, how can a horny boy not take advantage? When Ginger makes some adjustments to his wiring so he can no longer use foul language, Daryl’s resultant, “Fu…” is recurring and gets funnier and funnier. Long and lanky, plastic-faced and gumby-bodied, actor/musician Elliott is a winner.

Andy Toth, as The King’s mother-in-a-muu-muu, partners up with Neezar (singer, actor, circus performer with Cirque du Soleil) to sing the crowd-pleasing, “Nobody Messes With My Baby.”

Choreography by The Contingency Plan is hot and sexy with much thrusting, rubbing, pelvic rolling.

On the serious side, playwright Thompson very subtly suggests we should all be living our own lives and, in the end, it’s all about love. Broken Sex Doll is not for everyone but if you want to laugh all the way back to your condo (or, as they say in Europe, your condom), this one’s right up your old alley.

Georgia Valéria Swinton, Janessa Shae O'Hearn, Andy Toth and Gili Roskies Credit: Bettina Strauss
Georgia Valéria Swinton, Janessa Shae O’Hearn, Andy Toth and Gili Roskies
Credit: Bettina Strauss