There is a serious play buried deep inside The Accidental Pervert, now at The Players Theatre Loft, but writer/performer Andrew Goffman is content to gently sideswipe the profound points of his story and go for laughs instead. And there are plenty of laughs, although his self-deprecating comedy is fundamentally built on a single joke. The end result is cute, in a disgusting sort of way.
There are probably millions upon millions of young boys who stumbled upon their father's skin magazines, dirty movie collections, or French postcards. Very few of them, however, had the same obsessive reaction as the 11-year-old Goffman, who found his father's X-rated videos and subsequently studied them virtually frame by frame — leading him to discover sex in ways that he could not duplicate in real life. And the point of the play is that view of sex screwed him up — until he met the woman he would marry 15 years later.
The show begins rather crudely, but once it hits its stride, the sex jokes become inoffensive because they are rendered with a bit of wink. For examples, he sprinkles his script with a seemingly endless string of hilariously titled sex videos, such as Star Whores, Little Oral Annie, and Sleeping with the Enema. And because Goffman is so comically engaging as a performer, he is able to make some strong material work that would fall flat in someone else's hands.
Director Charles Messina helps to keep the comedy spinning by packing as many ticky-tacky production values as possible into a low-budget, one-person show. The audio and visual design plays a big part in this show as sound cues and a flow of pictures on a screen are an integral part of the proceedings. There is also strong imagery in the set design provided by Anthony Augello. Unlike many solo shows, The Accidental Pervert gives audiences a lot to look at — and a little bit to think about.