A clueless white moderator asks a black playwright how he got the surname O’Malley. The writer’s response is one word: “Slavery.” That exchange is in bootycandy, Robert O’Hara’s satirical play that takes its title from a euphemism for a penis. This problematic but quite funny collection of sketches and playlets about growing up gay and African-American has been making the rounds of major cities’ LGBTQ communities ever since it debuted on Broadway in 2014, and now Stage West is bringing it here.
The humor includes broadsides aimed at familiar targets such as homophobia in the African-American church and a black mother who names her daughter Genitalia, as well as a slyer and subtler turn during a sketch set at a writers’ conference, where the joke at the top of this article comes from. The thread that loosely connects it all is Sutter, who grows from a young boy who’s curious about fellatio into a gay writer not unlike Robert O’Hara himself. Though the evening has some trouble balancing its comedy with its serious content, few people dispute the freshness of the jokes. This play enjoys its North Texas premiere this week, so theater fans would be well advised to heed this booty call.
bootycandy runs Aug 11-Sep 11 at Stage West, 821 W Vickery St, FW. Tickets are $17-35. Call 817-784-9378.