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NY Post: “Deep Throat” The Play Doesn’t Go Deep Enough

Forget Lindsay Lohan. This Lori Gardner chick has the real Linda Lovelace-thing going for her.

from www.nypost.com – Don’t be surprised if you find the events depicted in “The Deep Throat Sex Scandal” hard to swallow. This new play details how the notorious porn film “Deep Throat” www.xxxdeepthroat.com became one of the most profitable movies of all time while igniting a cultural and legal firestorm.

Made for practically no budget by a Bronx hairdresser named Gerard Damiano and starring the then unknown Linda Lovelace and Harry Reems, the 1972 movie became a cause celebre, attracting the ire of the Nixon administration and jumpstarting the porn chic trend that led to its mainstream acceptance.

Famously seen by such celebrities as Jackie Onassis, Truman Capote and Johnny Carson, it became the subject of a landmark legal case in which Reems and other associated figures were convicted of obscenity in a Tennessee court.

It’s an undeniably fascinating story, previously told in the documentary “Inside Deep Throat,” but this production takes a disappointingly cartoonish approach. Clearly attempting to ape the original film’s, um, tongue-in-cheek style, playwright David Bertolino reduces the real-life figures to broad comic stereotypes while giving only perfunctory treatment to such darker aspects as its having been financed by mob figures and Lovelace’s reported physical abuse by her husband.

It concentrates less on Lovelace (Lori Gardner) than the genial Reems (real name Herbert Streicher), who also serves as the evening’s narrator. As entertainingly portrayed by Malcolm Madera, he’s depicted here as an aspiring serious actor whose legal problems led to a lengthy period of substance abuse.

Featuring no shortage of male and female nudity, the play does have its fun moments, including a vigorous comic debate over the correct pronunciation of the word “clitoris” and a lengthy monologue in which a prosecutor describes the film’s content in hilariously clinical terms.

But despite its earnest if overblown claims of the film’s supposed cultural influences (“The Simpsons,” really?) at its conclusion, “The Deep Throat Sex Scandal” turns out to be disappointingly shallow.

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