5 Guys Chillin'
Closed 1h 10m
5 Guys Chillin'

5 Guys Chillin' NYC Reviews and Tickets

(44 Reviews)
Members say
Edgy, Raunchy, Thought-provoking, Ambitious, Intense

About the Show

A Fringe Encore: Em-Lou Productions presents Peter Darney's play about the gay chemsex scene in the UK. Based on interviews with real scenesters. A hit at the 2016 Edinburgh Fringe.

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Member Reviews (44)

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Raunchy, Resonant, Intense, Unsettling, Ambitious

See it if you want a frank, realistic, bare (literal & figurative) glimpse into the gay chemsex subculture; you appreciate issue-driven docu-theatre.

Don't see it if you expect a titillating, sexy gay comedy. It's an awkward, unabashedly raunchy, but cogent PSA on the effects of sex, drugs & indifference.

Absorbing, Ambitious, Edgy, Intense, Raunchy

See it if You're interested in a disturbing, funny play about urban gay men into the drug, sex & multiple partner scene, taken from actual interviews

Don't see it if Graphic displays of frontal nudity, simulated sex and drug use of all kinds and very crude, sassy, and expletive filled language repels you

Critic Reviews (12)

September 29th, 2016

"Dynamically performed, well conceived and theatrically accomplished, it’s an intense though often humorous presentation...Darney has skillfully fashioned an engaging, unflinching character study. There’s no plot but it is still a compelling take on this phenomenon...Arresting tableaus and dance sequences visualize sexual activities and the dialogue portions have momentum...Like its subject matter, '5 Guys’ becomes numbing due to the relentless and repetitive actions enacted."
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Theatre is Easy
October 4th, 2016

"A cross between documentary theatre and performance piece...At two points the guys come together in a transcendent erotic dance...These moments—a highlight of the show—provide a glimpse into what this piece could become were it not hampered by a devotion to the literal...This is really two plays in one...These two stories don’t mesh well, and the conflict persists throughout...All five actors give passionate performances, and do much to make the dialogue fit as well as it can."
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Front Mezz Junkies
October 1st, 2016

"This is an easy, free-flowing evening of sex and drug talk, but underneath, this confessional play is something more disturbing and fraught....To varying degrees, these five actors do a great job bringing us in and connecting us to their struggles and pain...The stories being told in writer/director Peter Darney’s '5 Guys' sometimes have an awkwardness in the scenario but a realness in the telling...This play does a great job in showing us both the highs and the lows."
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New York Theater
September 28th, 2016

"Darney’s evident intent is to have you react to '5 Guys' as both an entertainment and as a powerful—and graphic—cautionary tale. The combination can feel awkward at times, and unrealistic. At first blush, it might seem odd that the characters spend much more of their time talking about past practices and experiences rather than, um, making new ones...The knowledge that everything the characters say is verbatim from actual people adds an extra layer of alarm and revulsion."
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Call Me Adam
October 2nd, 2016

"'5 Guys Chillin'' is a new, original, refreshing play that is a conversation starter...My eyes were certainly opened watching this show. I was shown a segment of the gay community I had only heard about, but never experienced...As the show went on, the stories intensified, each becoming more jaw-dropping than the one before...I really commend Peter for bringing this subject to the forefront. He has written a terrific, eye-opening play that is not easy to watch, but really should be seen."
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Exeunt Magazine
August 16th, 2016
For a previous production

"There’s a delicate balance to be struck between the veracity of the interviews and the dramatic action of the play. ‘5 Guys’ manages to achieve this balance with integrity…There is a slightly creeping sense of exposition which in a way can’t be helped…Their fictional characters are carefully and skillfully developed…In all, ’5 Guys ’ is a contemporary and crucial production. It’s well-crafted, convincingly performed and with a notable commitment to the genre of verbatim theatre."
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The List
August 25th, 2016
For a previous production

"While its verbatim script and loose structure prevents ’5 Guys’ from becoming an entirely coherent piece of theatre–the characters are inconsistent and the episodes don't cohere into a dramatic narrative–it achieves its polemical aim as a warning against casual sex and drugs…By the finale, the production has made its point…It is as shocking as a government-funded advert from the 1980s, with a tombstone casting a shadow over the cheeky, fun-seeking characters."
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Broadway Baby
August 7th, 2016
For a previous production

"A verbatim ensemble work that is both didactic and entertaining…After a while, among all the frivolity and sexual mimicry, the play becomes something of a predictable checklist of issues in which every box has to be ticked…It is an insight into an often dark world, where for many sex has overtaken their lives…For all of them, it provokes issues that need to be confronted not just by them but by society as a whole, and this play brutally brings those into the public domain."
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SG Fringe
August 11th, 2016
For a previous production

“This is not a gentle chilled-out ride; it’s a verbatim screaming surge of sex and drugs and won’t be to everyone’s taste. But I know people like this…This is what’s been happening in our community and is getting more prevalent, spreading further. If we don’t look at it honestly and learn about it, we won’t be ready when it hits. There’s fragility and compassion here too, the human queer soul still trying to reassert itself through a chemical rush.”
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Fringe Review (UK)
August 24th, 2016
For a previous production

"This is one of the most important plays this reviewer has seen in decades…This play is a revelation in how we have alienated a huge part of our own society. Every person in the play is a human being aching for recognition and validity, drugging himself in a vain effort to feel a thrill that he mistakes for a life force…This is a play every human being should see to understand the desperate need each of us have to feel we belong…Far more than an entertainment; it is a revelation."
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The Scottish Sun
August 19th, 2016
For a previous production

"A phenomenal piece of verbatim theatre. It's an original look into a drug-fueled, highly secret world of Grindr and instant gratification. It's dark, raunchy and at times disturbing, but brilliantly written and features some superb performance from a young cast…Although it attracts a predominantly gay audience, it's a fascinating yet honest insight for all of us into the chill-out, chem-sex scene that's becoming a growing problem in many cities across the globe with the LGBT community.”
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May 10th, 2016
For a previous production

"Some may find this play challenging; its descriptions of sex acts are extremely graphic…There is some really excellent ensemble acting from a very talented group of actors…There is no moralizing or judgments, which might frustrate fans of theatrical resolutions or tidy endings…This is definitely not the show to go to if you are looking for an evening of light entertainment. A sometimes uneasy experience, but a very important one. "
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