After impressing audiences last year with Anne Frankenstein
, a love letter to grindhouse schlock and Nazi exploitation films, director Adam McCabe returns to Fringe with a more subdued one-act about modern dating. Douchebags
, also written by McCabe, depicts three nameless men – only one of whom is really
a douchebag – dealing with relationship issues.
Adam McCabe Presents - Orlando, Florida
SEVEN DATES THROUGH MAY 29, 2016
Length: 60 minutes
Price: $10 (Disc: FA | FV)
Rating: 18 & Up – Language, Offensive Humor, Adult Themes
The youngest of them, played by Michael Gunn, is about to graduate from college and is dealing with the fact that his first love has cheated on him and dumped him for, as he puts it, a guy who looks like a shark. An older man, played by Gregg Baker, tries to advise the college guy, but he has problems of his own as he's trapped himself in a sexless relationship. Enter the douchebag, played by Kyle Stone, who admonishes both men for not eschewing emotional attachments in favor of meaningless sex.
The three actors clearly have a lot of fun with their characters, particularly Stone, who exudes the kind of smarmy confidence that people love to hate – or wish they could master. The dialogue is snappy and polished, and each actor gets the chance to shine as they point fingers at the others' behavior while blindly defending his own.
As entertaining as the nuts and bolts of the play are, however, the stakes seem very low for the characters. Gregg's relationship problems could be solved with Dan Savage's "DTMFA" acronym. Gunn's pining for his unfaithful girlfriend elicits little more than a shrug of sympathy from a more experienced audience. And a convoluted effort to explain Stone's years of womanizing through a recent family loss doesn't quite make sense temporally. As fun as it is to listen to these characters talk about love and sex, they end up saying very little that's new or profound.