Laura Zam bounds on stage so exuberantly to declare “Guess what? I’m married!” and has such a big smile for so long in her Capital Fringe one-woman play “Married Sex” that you almost think you heard wrong when shetalks about how things fell apart.
While on her honeymoon in Rome, she’s struck with the legacies of Mussolini, her mother’s experience in Nuremberg and the sexual abuse she suffered as a child. As a result, “I stopped having sex. On my honeymoon.”
It may be some relief to her husband, a saint she renames “Matt,” that she immediately starts working on the problem (even though the process includes airing their too clean laundry to paying audiences).
She corresponds with a sex columnist who isn’t really named Dr. Coco Croissant and goes to a “Sex Brunch” in which she and other women discuss their own bedroom histories. Mostly, Zam seems more interested in the women’s various accents than their actual accounts, so she spends more energy differentiating between them all by exaggerating how different each one sounds.
Later, there are sessions with a therapist and quotes from Rabbi Shmuley that provide some of the biggest laughs in the play.
After a while, though, the mind wanders and the audience is free to become its own analyst. You start to think: Perhaps this woman is just talking too much. Maybe she should just schedule some private quiet time with her husband.
And just like the time I accidently signed up for a couples’ weekend, I start looking for the exit and/or the clock. Other men looked antsy as well.
But maybe this wasn’t for us. After all, the program for “Married Sex,” which also serves up sex tips, features an ad for “A Sex Brunch, Just Like in the Play.” For $45, women are given lunch in a private room of a French restaurant in Woodley Park, the latest findings on women’s health and sexuality and a “facilitated discussion.”
“Married Sex” by Laura Zam. 75 minutes. At Capital Fringe through Saturday. Visit www.capitalfringe.org.
Catlin is a freelance writer.