On opening night, without explanation or prior announcement to the press or public, Rex Smith and Krista Allen, advertised stars of this new comedy, were conspicuously absent. The only star remaining from the expected cast was Ed Asner?and he had no choice. Despite the attention this show received because of Asner's participation--not to mention an entire page in the program dedicated to his bio and headshot--a brief voiceover at the play's beginning constitutes Asner's "appearance." His taped participation in this dreadful production--the voice of God instructing Adam and Eve--lasts about 40 seconds, tops. Unlike with Smith and Allen, chances are that poor Asner wasn't around during rehearsals to gain perspective.
One must feel sorry for Goeffrey Lower and Amy Povich, the replacements, who must have had about a day to prepare. The two read large portions of their dialogue from three teleprompters, their predicament the actor's nightmare. As Adam, Lower tries earnestly, working with unearthly sincerity despite the material. Povich just looks embarrassed to be there.
The actors address the audience directly with trite observations about the difference between men and women, such as suggesting that God forgot to connect men's penises to the heart and brain. Playwright/director Dan Israely's point couldn't be more obvious if it were delivered with a sledgehammer to the back of the head: men are Neanderthals, women total bitches. End of play. A sock on Lower's hand embodies the voice of Adam's trolling penis, spouting lines about being "kinda full here" and ready to go to work. Even the bawdier jokes, which could have been amusing, are unforgivable. Orgasms is not funny but blatantly offensive. "If a man says he doesn't like boobs, he's either gay or a liar," explains Adam, pointing to a chart featuring cupcakes and a pair of nuclear reactors. "No, he's a liar," he reconsiders, "because even gay men love boobs." What?
Calling this project Orgasms is like advertising Asner's appearance--it sells seats. It was supposedly three years in the making by Israely--who, according to his bio, is "CEO of a successful California company"--and his wife, a "prominent clinical psychologist" specializing in sexual dysfunction. But one must wonder how this mess ever made it to the Canon, an expensive mid-size rental notoriously impossible to fill even for the best of shows.
The incidental highlight of the evening came when two ladies leaving the theatre were overheard to say, "These guys who write these plays can be very, very clever, can't they? I wonder why they don't write for television?"