ANAHEIM — Playwright-director David Amitin seems to speak from a teenager's viewpoint in his comedy at Stages, "Pardon My Genitals."
The first act, a play in itself produced by Stages last year, is a simplistic exploration of the inability of a young man named Bill (Joseph Hamblen) to find the right girl or any girl willing to do "it" with him. The passionate sounds of a neighboring couple (Michael Miller, Amber Jackson) and the easy success of his raunchy friend Sasha (David Morgan) are not as depressing as the cuckoo party girl (Jane'e Cazier) who hates him on sight, a failed first visit to a prostitute (Teresa Carrillo), and the discovery that his current date (Amy Tan) is the second in a row who turns out to be a lesbian.
The second act, added for this staging, concerns Regina (Melissa De Jesus), a young woman who is flying in the face of her lesbian parents by wanting to date a boy instead of a girl. Of course, she meets Sasha, but, you guessed it, she winds up with nerdy Bill.
"Pardon My Genitals" isn't a play at all. It's like an overly extended television sketch, with brief moments instead of scenes, most of the action described in monologues, and no attempt at characterization beyond the surface locker-room humor. The tone is of giggling behind closed doors.
As director, Amitin keeps things moving brightly and swiftly, and knows how to point up the honest laughs. A different director might have helped to give more shape and style to the script, but it would be a job.
Amitin has cast it well out of the Stages company. Hamblen, though too good looking to be a loser, is very funny, with sharp comic timing, and has a sincerity that makes Bill otherwise believable. Carrillo is on the nose as the hilarious, no-nonsense hooker Bill visits, business-like to a fault, although not as much so as Regina's lesbian "father." Jackson gets big laughs while harassing a poor pizza boy (Steve Mayeda), who is also funny, grinning dumbly at her inspections.
Morgan's Sasha is as gross as he's supposed to be, and Amy Tan is excellent as sweet Emily, who, along with Regina's girlfriend Belinda (Stephanie Bonas), is coming out like gangbusters.
* "Pardon My Genitals," Stages, 1188 N. Fountain Way, Ste. E, Anaheim. Today-Sunday, 8 p.m. Ends Sunday. $10. (714) 630-3059. Running time:1 hour, 45 minutes.
Melissa De JesusRegina
Steve MayedaPizza Boy
Michael M. MillerMan Behind Curtain
A Stages production of David Amitin's comedy. Produced by Adam Clark. Directed by David Amitin. Scenic design: Patrick Gwaltney. Lighting design: Jon Gaw, Adam Clark. Sound design: Thomas Corsaut. Costumes: Laura Lynn Orlow.