Every Woman I Slept With Before I Met You promises to be a darkly comedic performance about a guy who takes a wrong turn trying to romance his current girlfriend, and ends up spilling his whole sexual history instead. Created by filmmakers David Amito and AJ Bond for the Fringe Festival, it drew a solid house for 10pm on a Wednesday night.
With this in mind, I turned up expecting a salacious – or at least mildly naughty – sex comedy. You know, the kind in which the performer would bite his lip like a bad boy and say something along the lines of “…which turned out to be more fun than I was expecting, even if I did eventually have to throw out all the bedsheets and wash my cat in dish soap.”
Seated for most of the show at a table set for a nice restaurant, Amito instead delivered a show that could more truthfully have been titled Every Relationship Mistake I Made Before I Met You, Only Some Of Which I Seem To Have Learned From.
The show is pretty true to the formula of the Saturday Night Live sketch – a self-deprecating and high energy narrator leads us through a bumpy ride of narrative. There are stops along the way for an I-peed-myself story, an I-puked-everywhere story, a Man-we-were-so-drunk story. The first story of the show – a “that-wasn’t-what-it-looked-like” story – turned out to be about practicing kissing with an orange, and it was fresh and authentic. Very promising, and one of my favorite moments in the hour. After that however, though the audience gets a couple glimpses at what relationship redemption might look like, it never really comes.
Overall, regrettably, while the piece was well-enough acted by Amito, there were things I ultimately couldn’t get behind. A long slag on a fat girl left a bad taste in my mouth, and the ongoing conquest mentality – I can have her! And her! – felt charmless and flat. Even the self-deprecating portions of the story had an inauthentic quality to my ear, as though the main character (whose name we never hear) was answering a job interview question about his “biggest fault.” He travels the world, drinks a lot of alcohol, and sleeps with women – sometimes women he is in love with, sometimes not. That’s pretty much the story.
On the other hand, the audience applauded wildly when the show was over, so certainly the show appealed to some people. For me, though, Every Woman I Slept With Before I Met You didn’t have much to offer.
– Every Woman I Slept With Before I Met You plays at Venue 5 – The Solo Room (at the Randolph Academy), 736 Bathurst St., 2nd Floor
Wed, July 6 10:00 PM
Fri, July 8 8:15 PM
Sat, July 9 6:45 PM
Mon, July 11 5:45 PM
Tue, July 12 10:15 PM
Wed, July 13 4:45 PM
Thu, July 14 6:15 PM
Sun, July 17 2:15 PM
– All individual Fringe tickets are $10 ($5 for FringeKids) at the door (cash only). Tickets are available online at www.fringetoronto.com, by phone at 416-966-1062, in person at The Randolph Centre for the Arts, 736 Bathurst Street (Advance tickets are $11 – $10+$1 convenience fee)