SEX a.k.a. Wieners and Boobs 

Wieners and Boobs is no longer just a mammary.

Welsh/Garcia Productions

Wieners and Boobs is no longer just a mammary.

Charlie Chaplin famously said, "Anyone can make them cry. It takes a genius to make them laugh." And who wouldn't want to see genius at work?

The problem is that aside from fart jokes and small animals biting people in the crotch, comedy rarely endures. The incredibly nuanced understanding of what is absurd, daring and risque to one generation is often sad and bland to the next--see Gallagher for reference. However, the nature of tragedy endures. The death of a parent/pet/spouse/empire/revolution remains compelling infinitely, even if the particulars surrounding said tragedies get a bit dusty.

This is the problem with getting young people interested in theater.

Lacking the promotional and distribution capacity of film and broadcast media, it's all too common that by the time a play reaches an audience, the jokes are three generations out of date, at best. Sometimes you have to have a master's degree in history to get the jokes. And since every artist wants to create work that endures, tragedy is the more attractive project. The capacity of live actors to make with the ha-ha is consistently overshadowed by some whiny long-winded rich kid named Hamlet. This is why live theater has the reputation for being insufferably dull, especially among the young.

But then along comes a play like SEX a.k.a. Wieners and Boobs. If the title isn't enough to make it clear this is no snoozefest like Death of a Salesman, then its authorship will. Joe Lo Truglio, Michael Showalter and David Wain, all members of the cult sketch-comedy series The State and the authors of feature-length satire Wet Hot American Summer are the brains behind the script. Those are the kinds of credentials that get young people into a theater to see what they're missing.

And this is actually the second "coming" of SEX, a "remounting," if you will. Last year's production was Alley Repertory Theater's most successful production, and the part of Alley Rep that broke off to become Welsh/Garcia Productions wanted to give Boise another taste.

But those sticklers concerned with annoyances such as plot, know that the story follows a new sheriff in town trying to kick all the prostitutes out of Teaneck, N.J., only to discover that they are the primary economic engine. Oops. Between the subject matter and the authors' masterful plays on the conventions of live theater, comedy is layered from the meta to the absurd, but all of it is genius to the core.

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