I sat in the second row of a packed audience for the opening night of All The Sex I’ve Ever Had. I had no idea what to expect, other than what the show description stated: “A group of Austin’s over-65’s draw on all their wisdom and experience to share true stories of their romantic and sex lives…”
Aralyn Hughes, Austin’s Queen of Weird, is in the show, and I know from personal experience that she is a hoot of a storyteller, so I couldn’t miss her, and the other five talented “seniors” who told us about the times they got down and dirty.
The storytellers are positioned on a raised stage behind a long, banquet-style table with microphones and notes to read throughout the 90-minute time travel experience. Their stories are weaved together as a seventh male, younger, who seemed to be operating the sound and lighting, guided us through multiple decades. Each storyteller jumps in sporadically to reveal a snippet of their life in a particular year. And the tales don’t stick to just sex – they range from birth, death, heart ache, career, sexual preference, divorce, female power, children, secrets revealed to them later in life — that shaped their paths forward. Storytellers get a reprieve from their chairs during some decade changes for random and hysterical dance parties set to music everyone knows the words to. And here and there, the audience is called on to reveal secrets of their own. The fragmented nature of jumping from year to year and voice to voice leaves much for the imagination (what happened during those gaps in time?!) but doesn’t make the performance feel disjointed. No, it enhances it, entwining the lives of six strangers in a cohesive narrative about social history and human connection (or disconnection).
All The Sex I’ve Ever Had is part of the annual Fusebox Festival and shows at the Austin Film Society Event Hall Thursday, April 18 – Saturday, April 21 at 7:00pm. The show is free, and the website states that there are no tickets available for the final show on Saturday, but if you show up, you might get lucky. (Get your head out of the gutter – I meant that someone might not show up and you can take their seat.)
Cover photo: Aralyn Hughes’ table — each storyteller has a table situated at the entrance to the theatre displaying tidbits of their histories.