Thursday, February 21, 2008
Plays that trade on shock value generally aren't very good, and even in this town a racy publicity shot and a name like "Artfuckers" scrawled in some sort of blood-red is shock value. I'm happy to say that Artfuckers isn't as bad as I've just made it sound -- there's some merit to the artistic struggle that's got Owen (Will Janowtiz) trying to kill himself after a bad review in Artforum. But I'm sad to say that not only does Michael Domitrovich's script come across as forced, but so does the sex: Bella (Nicole LaLiberte) is the only character who ought to be methodical about sex, using it to create the illusion of happiness. But Maggie (Jessica Kaye), her sister, comes across as hollow when she goes after Owen, and Trevor (Asher Grodman), a DJ who claims to hear sex in his pulse, is so sluggish that he must be suffering from bradycardia (a slow heartbeat). The most entertaining scene is the most shallow: Max (Tuomas Hiltunen), a gay fashion designer, speaks with his agent, Maggie, about the upcoming show for which Trevor is recording music, Owen is sculpting for, and Bella is modeling in. That's no surprise: Eduardo Machado directs Artfuckers like a rave, so it's only the most heartless and over-the-top acting that catches our attention.