Portland Tribune - Friday, July 25, 2003

Hey, what happened to My Virginity?

Double-entendres fire like pistons in Theatre Vertigo farce


   An unlikely hero has returned to Theatre Vertigo on the trail of unlikelier villains in "The Further Adventures of Dick Piston, Hotel Detective: Prague-Nosis!"
Piston (Tom Moorman) is the deadpan shamus first seen here five years ago investigating a murder in a hotel full of lycanthropes in Jeff Goode's "Larry and the Werewolf," which set the silly bar pretty high for a sequel.
   This time Piston is hired by voluptuous Czech porn star Pleasure Hello (Camille Cettina) to find a jewel thief and a man with no pants (Darius Pierce). The play's McGuffin (to use Alfred Hitchcock's term for something everybody wants) is a diamond necklace called My Virginity, which was part of the Czech crown jewels and stolen from Pleasure Hello by curvaceous international jewel thief Misha Novakova (Melody Bridges). As you can imagine, double-entendres are rife.
   "We'll have to do this the hard way," Piston says.
   "You mean blindfolded?" asks Pleasure Hello, innocently.
   Goode has written 50 plays and musicals, including Theatre Vertigo's 2001 hit "Poona." He writes fast to keep himself interested, so Dick Piston has cliffhanger endings every 10 minutes, and even Piston has trouble keeping up.
   "The truth is gonna take somebody out back and beat the crap out of them," a frustrated Piston tells suspects at one point.
    It's very fast-paced, and the plot is intentionally ridiculous.
   Fight sequences mimic the slow-motion hamminess of "The Avengers" TV series, and there is a string of sight gags. The show lags at the 50-minute mark but rallies to several improbable conclusions. There's even a good "Sixth Sense" gag -- if you're paying attention.

   Contact Paul Duchene at

When: 9 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, through Aug. 16
Where: The Electric Company, 2512 S.E. Gladstone St., Suite 200, 503-306-0870
Cost: $12 (pay-what-you-will on