“It’s my first time,” Twanna Hines slyly told the audience at the opening night of her one-woman show, “I F----- Your Country.” Then she elaborated: “I’m a Capital Fringe virgin.” What followed was a cheerful, spirited and charming first time for all of us, made even more delightful by the relaxed way Hines rolled with the surprises and discoveries inherent in an hour-long maiden voyage.
Hines has a lot to deliver here — she promises sex ed for adults and prizes to win, as well as thrilling, true tales of her loving round the world. Fun sex education and analysis is Hines’s game, as writer/proprietress of the Web site FunkyBrownChick.com and expert interviewee for TV spots. A really funny video segment during the show — by a British man named Tom whose full name I haven’t been able to find — covers her costume change (into a sexy dirndl — oddly enough identical to a dirndl featured in a German pornography sketch in another Capital Fringe show, “Brick Penguin Tries Its Best”). Hines checked off finished bits on her notecards, adding to the unguarded, improvisational feel of the evening. Her stories, too, wandered and seemed not terribly well rehearsed, more like stories told over a mimosa-soaked brunch than the polished stuff you see at, say, SpeakeasyDC.
But that allowed for some of the night’s best moments — such as Hines’s impressive ad lib when a phone rang in the audience. (An X-rated prop became improvised into a show-stopping visual pun.) Some things are more enjoyable unrehearsed.
Still, the sexual travelogue in particular could benefit from some editing and rehearsal for a little more payoff. We got two stories of foreign romps, one (British guy) summed up as “and it was quite lovely” and the other quite unlovely, involving a German. I was expecting more countries, more details and more lessons learned, though I did learn more than I expected to about condoms.
There has also got to be a story about how Hines, a self-described 22-year-old virgin with her legs “nailed shut,” became an internationally syndicated sex columnist and educator sharing her losing-it story with a laughing audience. But that just might mean there’s plenty of material for Hines’s second time.
at the Capital Fringe Festival on July 19 at 8:15 p.m., July 24 at 6:30 p.m. and July 27 at 2:30 p.m. At the Goethe-Institut Mainstage, 812 7th St. NW. Call 866-811-4111 or visit www.capitalfringe.org. About 65 minutes.