Capital Fringe Review: ‘No Sex, Please’ by Jessica Vaughan

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FOUR STARS
No Sex, Please local storyteller Derek Hills recounts the saga of the 28 years it took to lose his virginity in every hilarious, sometime heartbreaking, mostly humiliating detail. He touches on his childhood including difficult moments with his mom, her JFK obsession, and her alcohol to the spectacularly awkward Talk with his father on his 12th birthday. He moves on to his unrequited crush that lasted through all of college, a brief brush with the Trekkie world, to the penultimate…30 seconds. It is part memoir, part sketch comedy, part confession.

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Derek Hills has a reserved stage presence in this memorized piece. Hopefully repeat performances will allow him to engage more and more with the audience.  For a few brief moments he went off script and those unexpected gifts were the funniest parts the show of many planned zingers that were pretty funny. I’m trying to think of an example but most of them can’t be repeated without some kind of rated R warning. The talk is graphic, but this isn’t a show about sex so much about being human. Well, no, it’s a show about sex.

He spares us none of the gory details and it is both cathartic and exceedingly uncomfortable to relive a coming of age that is probably far truer for many than we would ever admit to our best friend, let alone an audience of complete strangers. I am in slight awe of the storytellers who get onstage and simply tell the truth; sometimes it’s funny and sometimes it’s hard (no pun intended!). It’s a unique performance art that relies on a guy standing in front of the audience with nothing but that truth.

Derek Hill’s vulnerability left me breathless. His humor had me laughing and wincing in all the right moments.

No Sex, Please plays through July 28, 2013 at Gearbox – 1021 7th Street NW -3rd Floor, in Washington, DC. For performance times and to purchase tickets, visit their Capital Fringe page.

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