Theater Review: 'The Performers' -- 3 stars
Even though it has probably set a world record for the most sexually graphic language ever thrown into a single play, David West Read's 90-minute comedy "The Performers" contains not an ounce of actual nudity.
More surprising is how it turns out to be a rather innocuous, even sentimental play. The kind you could even take grandma to see - assuming grandma has a subscription to "Penthouse Humor."
The hunky Cheyenne Jackson plays a not-so-bright porno actor going by the name of Mandrew. As the play begins, Mandrew is hanging out with Lee (Daniel Breaker), a high school pal turned professional journalist who has been asked to profile Mandrew.
Eventually misunderstandings arise with Mandrew's wife Peeps (Ari Graynor), a porn star on the verge of turning 30, and Lee's delicate, Barry Manilow-loving fiancee Sara (Alicia Silverstone), who decides to hit the town.
Also thrown into the mix are Chuck Wood (Henry Winkler), an aging industry celeb, and Sundown (Jenni Barber), who recently gained absolutely massive breast implants.
While "The Performers" is hardly an ambitious play and the characters tend to be either rigidly stupid or uptight, it is undoubtedly a crowd-pleasing show, combining raunchy humor with a simple setup and conservative emphasis on monogamy.
As skillfully directed by Evan Cabnet, the likable and very attractive cast indulges in all the silliness without going too overboard. Of course, the real standouts are Graynor and Jackson for going to such ridiculous, childish and idiotic extremes.
Winkler, whose character is three decades older than everyone else, appears to be having a good time. Silverstone, looking rather like a sad puppy, is effectively cute and pairs nicely with Breaker.
If you go: "The Performers" plays an open run at the Longacre Theatre, 220 W. 48th St., 212-239-6200, theperformersonbroadway.com.