Supporting the Arts in Western Massachusetts and Beyond

January 27, 2010

Men Fake Foreplay

Men Fake Foreplay
City Stage, Springfield, MA
through January 31, 2010
by R.E. Smith

"Men Fake Foreplay" is neither as simple nor as crude as the title might suggest. In fact, this witty, funny and insightful show is actually quite complex. Emmy award winning comedian Mike Dugan is an affable and candid performer who has set out to win our trust with humor and then teach us a few lessons. Since the lessons are about men and relationships and sex, we get the pleasure of laughing heartily while taking our medicine. Dugan has created a hybrid show designed to examine the seemingly irrational motivations of men.

"Foreplay" is part monologue because of the autobiographical nature of the material and Dugan's sometimes-surprising revelations. The thread that ties the insights and humor together is the story of his personal journey. He reports that in the past he didn't have relationships because "all of my training had been in casual sex". There's also a motivational aspect, as Dugan lays out the path he took to overcome his failings. This includes such insights as the fact that, like the sports men love, "Our feelings are on tape delay."

There's a bit of one-man play present in the structure, because Dugan touches on characters in his life with effortless mimicry, whether putting a dirty spin on "It's A Wonderful Life" or speaking in the vernacular of his childhood friends. But, like a stand-up show, there are bawdy, laugh out loud moments. Dugan reports that, "Women peak at age 40. Men peek at whatever they can."

The performer has some things he is truly upset about, especially the current culture of "playas" that profit from the degradation of women, and his keen observations of social norms and hypocrisies calls to mind George Carlin. Like Carlin, Dugan has a first class mind with an R-rated vocabulary.

"Men Fake Foreplay" is a unique and worthwhile evening's entertainment. Some men will "get it", some men will learn from it and both their female companions will laugh knowingly.