Three guys, three drinks, three acts: Virilia, Virility, Visectomy; beer, schnapps, whiskey; Brian, Stu, and Quinn. Three dudes, buds, bros from the old skool, do what bros do best — torture each other in a never ending test of masculinity and boner bona fides.
Virilia. As the name denotes, the first act is about dicks, mostly guys who are dicks to each other. Quinn’s girlfriend broke up with him, and his two buds Stu and Brian want to 1) get him drunk and 2) screw his ex, if possible in the most degrading revenge-porn fashion. Quinn is horrified. This is, after all, the love of his life. If they sacrifice his girlfriend to the Masculinity Mill by processing her into Grade D Girl Meat he might lose his one and only chance to be a caring, sensitive man.
Virility. The state or quality of being virile. Some time has passed. Quinn and Stu are the single guys and Brian has a girlfriend, whom Quinn and Stu hate with a burning passion. They make up lewd songs to sing about how much they hate her. They do shots of peach schnapps to celebrate her demise. They have an oversized visual presentation board that maps the precise reasons they hate her. And though Brian realizes that being in a committed relationship is necessary for him to be a complete human being, he somehow can’t summon the cajones to stand up to either his man-sized girlfriend or his misogynist friends. So he sends Quinn and Stu off to break up with his GF for him, an act of profound cowardice that puts the responsibility of being a man on Quinn and Stu’s hyperinflated bro-dom.
Visectomy. A complicated pun on vasectomy and vice – ectomy. (Also a common misspelling of vasectomy.) It’s the reception for Stu’s wedding, but it’s not a happy occasion. Stu has just been jilted at the altar by his completely blameless fiancée. She finally wised-up and saved herself a lot of heartache by dumping the douchebag. Quinn is married with a baby on the way and a lucrative career. Brian has never recovered emotionally or socially from the time Stu and Quinn humiliated Brian’s girlfriend by breaking up with her for him. The three of them take shots of whiskey and look down the long barrel of adulthood, responsibility, and paternity. This last prospect is the cruellest of all. Quinn observes that having a kid means that the drama pertaining to young adulthood — finding and banging chicks, keeping bros before hoes, and all the rest — becomes ridiculously irrelevant compared to raising a son.
All bros will be replaced someday by the next generation of bros. In fact, everything that bros holds in perfection but a little moment. “Viriology” might have been more appropriately title “Pueriology” because the play is a satire on boys who have yet to become men, not on adult masculinity. Unfortunately, the savagery of the satire works because these days there are very few examples of adult masculinity. Where are the pater familias in popular culture? Whither have gone Charles Ingalls, Ward Cleaver, and Cliff Huxtable? How appropriate is it that Andy Griffith just died?
As satire (and comedy) The Viriology is immensely entertaining. Scott Cagney, David Murgittroyd, and Alejandro Hernandez, the actors and presumably writers of the show, know their business. Every bro mythology is faithfully reproduced and skewered with rapid fire jokes and gut busting physical comedy. It’s like a live version of Archer, Family Guy, and Tosh.0 wrapped in a Taco Bell Dorrito Taco. But what makes this show really tasty is the ample dollop of awesome sauce a.k.a. irony that you don’t get on most Bro shows. These guys are more than colorful, timeless types; their characters have been fleshed out fully to make a queasy place in the pit of your stomach. True to the principles of satire, the last act performs a “vice – ectomy” on the audience by showing us exactly how pathetic an overgrown man-child ultimately is.
Under St. Marks Theatre
94 St. Mark’s Place