Slaughterhouse Theatre Company presents the West Coast premiere of a comedy about a married couple who decide to go into the porn business. He’s walked away from his job as a Wall Street scammer because he has too much integrity! While watching a sex video with his wife he is incensed that it exploits children, even though they are sure the pigtailed actress onscreen is of legal age. He believes they can create porno films that will be for adults who want to view healthy adult sex (clearly a very narrow market). To keep it pure, 90% of the profits will go towards helping female victims of trafficking. A noble sentiment, bound to revolutionize the porn industry, if only determination were enough.
Well, I never believed it would fly, but the plot veers away when the billionaire king of porn decides they are true competition. Soon it becomes a battle for porn turf via a certain gorgeous, willing, but inexperienced 20-year old. The writing is clever, the direction strong, but it’s essentially contrived and sadly predictable. At first the theme seems to be an appeal for appreciating the wonders of porn. Hey, that’s a unique point of view. However, in the end, an unexpected turnaround reveals the porn industry to be just as sleazy and exploitative as one suspected.
All the actors are excellent, especially Max Lesser as the idealistic pornographer who really believes he can make this impossible scenario work; Anna Konkle is his formidable wife; Lea Coco his cynical partner; Zuleyka Silver is a rather timid sex goddess; Sumiko Braun is a her kid sister, and Rob Belushi is a surprisingly youthful porn prince.
Written by Andrew Hinderaker and directed by Shannon Cochran, with scenic design by Katrina Coulourides, sound by Norm Kern, lighting by Paige Selene Luke, projections by Matthew G. Hill and costumes by Caitlin Rose Williams.
At the Zephyr Theatre, 7456 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood. through December 21. For tickets: 323-960-4429 or www.plays411.com/dirty.