Can 3 Wishes Fracture a Personality?
Gerald van Wilgen wrote me the other day, having interviewed playwright Ari Flamingo, who Gerald may or may not be, and who may or may not be in charge of Gerald. It’s kind of hard to say. For the 2012 Philly Fringe, Ari wrote 3 Wishes, inspired by the runaway best-selling novel Fifty Shades of Grey. After the jump, Gerald dirty-talks to himself. Maybe. We’re not really sure. But it goes off the rails, as all good interviews do.
Gerald: You dictated the play to me, are you illiterate?
Ari: I’m not a writer. And you have a computer.
Gerald: You seemed to have the play memorized.
Ari: I saw the story in my mind, the scenes unfolded to me, so to speak.
Gerald: Is it based in reality?
Ari: You mean, did it really happen?
Ari: This specific story?
Ari: It’s a fantasy.
Gerald: Tell me about how this play came to be.
Ari: Michelle Pauls and I were talking after one of the burlesque shows they’re doing at their theater. She was asking if I had read Fifty Shades of Grey. I answered that I was about to, a friend promised to read the book to me. Michelle thought about doing a Fringe show based on Fifty Shades. And I said I had the perfect story for her.
Gerald: Hold on, she had to read the book to you?
Ari: You know, as part of our lovemaking.
Ari: Well, to make a long story short. She did read it to me and it was not enhancing our love making, on the contrary I would say. The whole book was about this woman who seemed to feel lost. She wasn’t sure about anything. But then my friend said that that aspect was what women like.
Gerald: Women like to read about feelings.
Ari: Exactly. I thought that was fascinating, I wanted to use that for my story. Transfer it from a male fantasy to a female fantasy.
Gerald: Why would you do that?
Ari: I like to please women. I have been around some years and have always been an avid consumer of erotica.
Gerald: You watched a lot of porn.
Ari: Watched porn, went to clubs, meetings, you name it, I loved it. I wasn’t a sex-addict, believe me. I did in my free time, I work on a tug-boat.
Gerald: The character in the play, Cornella, is very conservative but also very sexy. Is she based on a real person?
Ari: Yes, me. I was like that. My parents were very religious and punished me every time I masturbated. Even when I had wet dreams they punished me. I wasn’t able to be with a women for many years.
Gerald: Someone liberated you sexually?
Ari: You can say that.
Gerald: You granted someone three wishes?
Ari: Yes. That’s how it happened. Only these were different wishes, not fit for the stage. I don’t like to watch people engaging in sexual acts on stage. Have you ever been to a Vegas sex-show? So boring. Cornella ‘tries’ to do sexual acts, that’s interesting. But nudity on stage, that to me is anti-climactic.
Gerald: Is that why you set it in the 50s?
Gerald: The play.
Ari: Yes, it was a more puritan time, the tolerance for indecency was so much lower. I actually think it was a crappy time for women, but they looked great. They were dressed like gifts you can unwrap for hours, if you know what I mean.
Gerald: You mean the stockings and the corsets and all that.
Ari: It turns me on, you?
Gerald: Not really.
Ari: Are you a fag?
Gerald: No, I don’t think so.
Ari: How can you not like those delicious, plump, ravishing, long-haired . . . you know what? I’m done. I’ll see you later, I’m going to check in with my gals.
3 Wishes runs September 8 and 9 at Lemon Hill Restaurant, 745 N. 25th Street, Fairmount. 3:30 pm, free. It also runs September 13-15 and 21-23 at Walking Fish Theatre, 2509 Frankford Avenue, Fishtown. 7:00 pm, $10.