Intimacy. How far can a play go? Sexually?
Last Tuesday I went to see Intimacy at the Acorn Theatre. But it wasn't just any Tuesday night. It happened to be one of New York City's biggest snowstorms in years, with nearly a foot of snow and temperatures in the single digits. So, it was in the middle of an icy tundra that I set forth into the biting cold, all for the sake of a play. Now, you might ask me what in my right mind would possess me to go and see a play during a blizzard? Surely I could have seen the show on another night when the weather was less crazy. But the way I figured it, based on the research I'd done, this play was gonna be hilarious. And heading out into the snow in the name of quality theatre definitely beat the alternative, which if I'm being honest would involve me YouTubing cat and baby videos well into the night. So, taking my mother's advice, I "bundled up" to the point where only my eyes were exposed, and feeling distinctly like some kind of an Eskimo, I made my way to the theatre.
When I found my seat, my hands and feet were nearly thawed (finally). I was seated directly in the center of the front row and was inches away from the actors. I reached out and touched the carpeted stage that was morphed into the interior of your basic suburban home. I was that close.
When I was doing my Google searches on Intimacy, I read that the show would contain nudity, but at the time I waved it off, not giving it much attention. Little did I know that a great portion of the show would be performed entirely in the nude, with startlingly realistic depictions of sexual activity. Now, this didn't gross me out or anything. I mean, I do watch HBO. But I was a bit surprised with just how far this play was willing to go. Forget breaking boundaries. Intimacy shattered them only a few minutes into the show.
I sat there, in hysterics, while the events on stage grew more and more... farcical. When 17-year-old Matthew announced that he was going to use his father's money to make a neighborhood porn film about Frottage, I lost it. And when the adults in the neighborhood participated without protest, it just got better. All of a sudden, leaving my apartment in weather that should be illegal didn't seem like such a stupid idea. My sheer proximity to the actors on stage made the whole play all the more intimate, which given the show's title, is fitting.