Three Imaginary Girls

Seattle's Indie-Pop Press – Music Reviews, Film Reviews, and Big Fun

45 minutes was not enough time for Sex in Seattle but even if they were allowed more time, I'm not sure I would have enjoyed it any more.

Sex in Seattle is the long-running, locally produced theater series that follows the (sex) lives of four women in a big city. Stop me if you've heard this before. The women, though, are Asian American and they're living in Seattle. Only three are seen on stage, a fourth, Jenna, is referred to throughout but never makes a physical appearance. This show at Bumbershoot was, I believe, an excerpt from the series (whose episode 16 begins at the Hugo House in September).

The problems for this production are numerous. The time was too short for any of the characters to develop beyond stereotypes. Instead, the cast relied on some cheap ethnic humor for cheap laughs. For example, Elizabeth and Tess (the romantic idealist and the loud, sex-positive friend respectively) are discussing the disintegration of Elizabeth's engagement to her longtime boyfriend Kenneth, who had just left her to be with the promiscuous Shari. Tess encourages Elizabeth to randomly call strangers in the phone book and reads off a couple of Caucasian-sounding names. Elizabeth asks why all of those are white names she read off and Tess tells her that she was reading from The White Pages. When Elizabeth says she is interested in finding another Asian man, just guess where Tess says they could look.

Shari is seductress that comes between Kenneth and Elizabeth, until she hooks up with Nathan. It's sex that brings them together but Shari then wants to be romanced. She wants all that stupid shit like letters and sodas. I found it grating when she would emphasize one word in each sentence to make it appear more sexually aggressive. First it worked fine when there was a double entendre in the sentence ("come" was the most obvious) but then she did it when no double entendre was present and it just didn't work.

Sex in Seattle could be something great, instead the characters were whiny, dull and thin; the laughs rely on uncomfortable stereotypes and the acting is acceptable at best (Shari's character is way over-acted). I found it disappointing overall but got a good response from the crowd and does seem to be connecting with audiences. I guess what it comes down to is that everyone can relate to not getting laid, I just didn't like being reminded of that reality.