Period Piece

Who’s ready for Becca Blackwell’s fluid-filled romp & gross-out gags?

Snatch Adams slaps you in the face with genitalia.

Not literally, of course — though you do have to push through some labia to get into the theater. Once seated, the barrage of body parts doesn’t stop: the set of Becca Blackwell’s new Off-Broadway play is a cross between a late-night talk show and a reproductive system, with two fleshy desks framing a massive golden vulva, neon pink pubic hair, and all.

Meanwhile, vulgar lyrics blare through the speakers: “Pussy good, pussy sweet, pussy good enough to eat,” from “Pussy” by Lady, for example. That transitions into “Dick in the Air” by Peaches, which has a chorus that keeps it simple: “Balls and dick, two balls and one dick” on repeat over a techno beat.

Long story short, Snatch Adams & Tainty McCracken Present It’s That Time of the Month makes no effort to hide exactly what it is: a fluid-filled romp with enough gross-out gags to last a lifetime. It follows the two titular characters, Snatch and Tainty, as they put on an original talk show. Snatch, portrayed by the show’s creator Becca Blackwell (Max’s Sort Of, Bros, and Netflix’s Survival of the Thickest), is an unemployed vagina, and Tainty, played by Amanda Duarte, is a disgraced comedian/perineum who lost his d*ck to the #MeToo movement. 

"Snatch Adams & Tainty McCracken Present It’s That Time of the Month."
“Snatch Adams & Tainty McCracken Present It’s That Time of the Month.” Photo by Julieta Cervantes.

Amanda Villalobos’ outlandish costumes, complete with a clown-nose clitoris for Snatch and an anus headpiece for Tainty, call to mind anatomically correct Muppets. They perfectly compliment the p*ssy-pink world crafted by production designer Greg Corbino, where the duo riffs back and forth for a largely improvised 90 minutes.

Indeed, though there’s clearly a loose outline with moments that need to be hit, Blackwell and Duarte make up mostly everything as they go along. This format won’t be to everyone’s tastes: though both performers are undeniably funny, their back-and-forth rides the line between improv and a lack of preparation.

Scripted segments occasionally emerge from this spontaneity. Some feature the backstage “Slit Crew” (Becky Hermenze and Amando Houser), who puppeteer the set and act as spokespeople for products like poppers and diva cups during commercial breaks. Others feature special guest performers pulled directly from the audience.

Becca Blackwell and Amanda Duarte in "Snatch Adams & Tainty McCracken Present It's That Time of the Month."
“Snatch Adams & Tainty McCracken Present It’s That Time of the Month.” Photo by Julieta Cervantes.

Controversial as it may be, audience participation is at the heart of Snatch Adams (not unlike Daniel K. Isaac’s recent star turn in Geffen Playhouse’s Every Brilliant Thing). That ranges from innocent queries (“Can you find my clitoris?” Snatch asks one volunteer, a self-identified gay man, letting him choose a prize from inside her labia when he gets it right) to full-fledged minigames. No spoilers, but sit in the front row and expect a splash zone. These moments are invariably both amusing and awkward for all involved, and the show isn’t always clear about when you’re meant to laugh, cringe, or sit in reverent discomfort. This feels by design: Snatch Adams doesn’t shy away from the dark side of politics, even if those truths are being delivered by an anthropomorphized vagina. Yes, it’s uncomfortable. Yes, we have to laugh anyway.

This becomes especially apparent in the show’s latter half. As things wind down, genital jokes and loosely planned antics give way to sincerity, first through an interview between Snatch and a special celebrity guest, which changes at every performance. The night I attended, it was Saturday Night Live’s Cecily Strong who delivered both a sobering portrait of what it looks like to work the reception desk at Planned Parenthood and a harrowing tale of peeing her “entire pants” on the streets of New York City.

To wrap the evening, both Tainty and Snatch leave the stage and welcome a “guest comic”: Becca Blackwell, out of vagina drag, who delivers a moving stand-up set about transness, gender, and finding fulfillment. It’s a bit of tonal whiplash but poignant nonetheless, casting the previous hour and a half in a new light. Even when they’re blaring fart noises or quizzing you on menstruation trivia, Snatch and Tainty want nothing more than for you to feel at home. ♦

Snatch Adams & Tainty McCracken Present It’s That Time of the Month runs through December 3 at SoHo Rep.

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Tags: Off-Broadway
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