Youngblood—Ensemble Studio Theatre’s Obie-winning company of young playwrights—presents Paul Cameron Hardy's new dark comedy about guys who do porn. More…
A "mope" is the lowest-level male performer in the adult-film industry. An anonymous stunt-penis. The guy in that porno you watched who was wearing sunglasses and socks. A dreamer. 'Mope' is a raunchy comedy and a scathing examination of a country poisoned by toxic masculinity. Note: The play contains nudity and extensive adult content.
“A devastatingly relevant new play…Hardy brilliantly distills giant themes of toxic masculinity and waning privilege into the microcosm of porn…Every performer in the cast works to deepen the story…Tolan keeps all these themes flowing together through efficient staging and design…You wouldn't guess from the play's smutty exterior, but Hardy has penned a 21st-century answer to John Steinbeck's ‘Of Mice and Men,’ that classic exposé of the elusive American dream.” Full Review
"A hilarious and incisive deconstruction of toxic masculinity, this new play is sidesplittingly funny, until it is decidedly not. Hardy’s brilliant script soars in the hands of director RJ Tolan. The world is rich and clear. Characters deep and tangible. The story is gripping and though at a certain point the conclusion begins to feel inevitable, it does not feel predictable...The chemistry, timing, and ensemble work is stellar...This play is definitely one to catch before its short run ends." Full Review
"No one emerges unscathed from Hardy’s insightful new play—including the audience. What starts as a raunchy comedy about a pair of low-level porn-industry pals escalates into something darker and poignant...Effectively staged by Tolan...Hardy’s sly one-act seduces with raucous laughs, then slowly shifts as tension builds within this sad, scary man...'Mope’s' sex talk and nudity aren’t what shock; the way it exposes our society’s just-below-the-surface fury is what truly jolts." Full Review
"The play is never moralistic in tone. It’s also hilariously funny at times, but 'Mope' never panders to the audience with cheap jokes...All three leads...are excellent, with fully-fleshed characters and adept balances of comedic and dramatic skills...The secondary players, each of whom get their chance to shine in their own scenes, are equally superb...The dramatic effect of this hard-hitting, bold piece will stay with the audience long after the money shot." Full Review
"For about two thirds of its running time, 'Mope' coasts on the skill of its talented cast, who make these inconsequential characters likable in spite of themselves...If the director, RJ Tolan, struggles a bit with the play's first half, he gets excellent work from his cast of new faces...'Mope' isn't a total success, but Hardy clearly knows how to write blistering confrontations...I'm pretty sure we'll be hearing from him again, and soon." Full Review
"Provocative and patchy...Mr. Hardy has essentially written two plays: a Trump-era tragedy for Trevor, about a man’s losing his place in the world, and a cheeky comedy for Alice...For a long time, this twinning gives 'Mope' the unsettling tart-sweet flavor that distinguishes Mr. Hardy’s voice and makes you eager to hear more of it. But at a certain point, he gives up on uniting the genres, lurching instead toward an abrupt ending that doesn’t feel entirely earned." Full Review
See it if you want to see a play about porn that's not watered down,not moralistic in tone,and often hilariously funny with a focus on the MALE actors
Don't see it if you can't wait almost half an hour for the promised male nudity, or if you can't handle seeing a play about the adult film industry
See it if You enjoy solid acting, and dynamic character relationships, with fantastic situations. Bravo to playwright especially, also director & cast
Don't see it if Porn makes you uncomfortable. There is also some violence, and a lot of shaming in this play.
See it if You're not offended by porn, male nudity, rap music (interludes), cussing, violence, race jokes, drugs. It's all there, but, lots of humor.
Don't see it if You dislike all the above. No LGBT scenes. Not too raunchy, but, if you're a prude; it's not for you. Takes a turn towards the (at the) end
See it if Eric Miller gives a perfect performance. This play is just about perfect. I wish someone could give me a list of all shows that are like
Don't see it if this. I plan to check out every show at this theater. The way they moved the set around with the actors was very well done
See it if Very surprised how well acted and good this was. Show has layers; Thought provoking. Intimate theater experience. Theater itself is raw.
Don't see it if Not much negative to say. The nudity and frank explicit sex talk serve a purpose. A few unbelievable things, and takes its time to build.
See it if you are fascinated by the private lives of porno actors, one upcoming, one 2nd rate sliding downhill and the effect it has on their relation
Don't see it if you are not interested in a show about porno stars that has full frontal male nudity and has scenes that may be offensive to some.
See it if you don't mind male nudity on stage; you are interested in the lives of people in the porno industry, interpersonal relationships in general
Don't see it if you are appalled by full frontal male nudity on stage; you are not interested in the porno industry or the lives of the people involved.
See it if you're interested in understanding the adult film industry, an examination of toxic masculinity, good acting by a strong ensemble cast
Don't see it if you don't want to see nudity, want to see something light and fluffy, or want something family friendly. It gets dark.
See it if You like quirky, unorthodox stories about people in unusual occupations and relationships.
Don't see it if You don't like nudity or if you don't feel sympathy for awkward societal misfits.
See it if new plays cleverly massaging relevant, national political conflicts into a seemingly mundane reality interests you.
Don't see it if vulgar subject matter, full frontal nudity, or profane language are turn-off's for you.
See it if you want some legit laughs, and aren't afraid about getting them from gross and shocking material. Interesting, fully realized characters.
Don't see it if the subject matter of porn, and/or the nudity and graphic dialogue required to make the play feel authentic, offend you.
See it if you're interested in a play about the workers in porn industry or in seeing how success can spoil a relationship, see an outsider react
Don't see it if A tiny bit of onstage nudity disturbs you, watching the deterioration of an aging, less attractive porn star turns you off, longish pauses
See it if You like off-beat shows that focus on topics not usually presented in theater these days.
Don't see it if You don't like sitting in small, hot theaters, with the potential of a tall person sitting in front of you blocking your view.
See it if This play was good. I particularly enjoyed the female performances - Especially Jennifer Tsay (fantastic job!). The set & sound great, too.
Don't see it if You aren't ready for a play about male porn stars in L.A.. Some male nudity, lots of language & adult subject matter. Gets dark & intense.
See it if you're interested in seeing a play about an entitled white guy who blames everyone but himself for his inability to make it in this world.
Don't see it if you object to seeing a penis on stage, aren't comfortable with coarse language, or expect plays to say something new and profound.
See it if you can relate to the story of a striver (in the p*rn industry), with a subtext examining straight white male privilege/toxic masculinity.
Don't see it if ...you aren't comfortable with frontal nudity or drug use depicted onstage (in a small house.)
See it if Usual professional production standards by EST's Youngblood Co elevate Hardy's muddled drama. Good performances help esp Eric Miller as lead
Don't see it if Two story lines don't gel & our sympathies are at frustrated cross purposes Trevor's one dimension annoys & ending blatantly gratuitous
See it if You care most about powerful performances and topical issues -- in this case, the contested place of masculinity in America today.
Don't see it if You are uncomfortable with (male) full nudity and extremely frank sex talk, or prefer stories with a more complex or surprising plot.
See it if you're interested in a story that seems extra-timely; if you're willing to watch a tough subject and be shocked by the dramatic ending
Don't see it if you're squeamish about frank sex-talk; if you want a tightly constructed, plot-based story; if you want a happy ending. (This is not comedy)
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