Fringeworthy

Hip Shot: No Sex, Please

Gearbox

Remaining Performances:

Thursday, July 18, 8:30 p.m.

Friday, July 26, 8:15 p.m.

Sunday, July 28, 1:00 p.m.

They say: "Would-be JFK – and 20-something virgin – unravels his idealistic thoughts on sex and love, one botched sexcapade at a time. How long can he hold out for the perfect score? It’s a coming of age tale, decades in the making."

Rachel K.’s Take:
In No Sex, Please, Derek Hills takes the audience on a journey that has inspired countless movie plots since the dawn of the teen flick, and Michael Cera’s entire career—the quest to lose your virginity. Despite none of us being virgins to this coming-of-age topic, Hills’ thoughtful turns of phrase and robust delivery made it feel like the first time, only way less awkward.

No Sex, Please
is a one-man show written and performed by Hills. The central question of the piece is not how he swiped that V-card, but why he waited until the ripe old age of 27 to do so.

While the story fittingly begins with Hills’ face in between a woman’s legs, he needs to go back much further to get to the “why.” He traces some of his hang-ups to his mother, a woman Hills describes as a “love child of Mussolini and Lucille Ball.” He renders her with the majestic glow of a momma's boy, even as she grows all-too-human in the eyes of the audience.

And while you might think that the whole “mother issues” thing is about as hackneyed as a loss-of-virginity tale, know this: Hills has a knack for taking cliché and sculpting it into something that trembles with realness. He depicts a restaurant as smelling like “ketchup and looming obesity,” and, despite being a Star Trek aficionado, calls Captain Kirk “a couple of finger guns removed from Planet Douche.”

This isn’t just about his mother, either. Hills weaves anecdotes into a worldview that feels cohesive and lush. Most impressively, Hills manages to turn the phrase “vaginal secretions” into a reoccurring laugh line.

The staging of No Sex, Please is appropriately sparse. Hills shifts between different places on stage, sometimes sitting on a stool, to demonstrate the passage of time. There are also lighting shifts to mark the ends of chapters, but I found those distracting.

Hills’ shift from a “First Base Bandit” to a condom-carrying member of the sexual world is well worth the rubber. This man can really pump and thrust a story.

See it if: You want to hear a well-gyrated yarn.

Skip it if: You want to see porn rather than hear it described.

DISCLOSURE: No Sex, Please writer & performer Derek Hills is a prolific alumnus of the Fringe & Purge Action News and Commentary Squad.

...