24-year-old Lizzy’s boyfriend Steven is on top of her, attempting to entice her 
into having sex with him.  “If you don’t, you’re going to hell,” he informs her. 
“No, really,” he adds. And then, “I mean it.” After all, he continues, “we’ve 
been dating for three weeks now. Just relax.” Legs in the air, Lizzy replies,      
“I’m not relaxed,” and then explains her real reason for just saying “no.” “I’m 
saving myself for marriage,” she tells Steven. “But this is New York,” he 
protests.  “No one’s going to throw rocks as you.” And then he throws in the 
kicker.  “I love you!” (This is after three weeks.) And the final assault: “If we 
stop now, this could physically harm me.”  Literally begging: “Have a heart. 
It’s Thanksgiving!”

But Lizzy’s final answer is indeed no, and when Lizzy says no, she means it. She 
is, after all, a graduate of St. Gertrude’s All Girls’ Academy. (It’s also a 
convent, she’ll have you know, and a place where the nuns told her (among 
other bits of divine wisdom) that if she masturbated, she’d go blind.) What’s 
a good Catholic girl to do but save herself for marriage?

That’s what Lizzy (brought to adorable life by writer/star Annie Hendy) firmly 
maintains until a news flash announces that her parish priest, the very priest 
who baptized her, has been arrested for soliciting sex with a prostitute … for 
the third time in two years! When she realizes that “even my priest has a 
better sex life than me,” Lizzy makes a decision.  With just twenty-five days 
remaining until her twenty-fifth birthday, Lizzy decides she’s going to have     
S – E – X! (Now all she has to do is find someone to have it with.)

This is the delightfully winning premise of Hendy’s The Catholic Girl’s Guide to 
Losing Your Virginity, now playing at the newly remodeled/reopened Pico 

Hendy, with a perkily optimistic smile and endearing manner, brings Lizzy to 
sparkling life, while Cyrus Alexander, in a dazzlingly different mode from the 
stark drama of last season’s Bleed Rail, creates not just one, not just two or 
three, but in fact a grand total of nineteen comic characters. Hendy’s work 
here is charming and delightful. Alexander’s is downright sensational.  The 
two have been directed by Broadway vet Eli Gonda, who keeps things 
rolling swiftly and deserves credit for guiding Hendy and especially multi-roled 
Alexander in creating their character(s).

As Lizzy goes on her quest to become a “woman,” Alexander portrays the 
men she meets and dates along the way, including:

•        Lizzy’s slightly dim college boyfriend Sean, who composes horribly insipid 
ballads: “I’m gonna write about sunshine … and rain … and that like 
sometimes in life there’s like … both.”  

•        The suave host of TV’s reality show “Lizzy Gets Laid.”  (Not being a TV 
buff, I hadn’t heard of that one.)

•        Gym trainer Paolo (that’s P-a-o-lo), he of the thick New Yahwk accent 
and bulging biceps.  Having sex with a hottie like Paolo would be “karmactic 
justice for the past twenty-five years.”

•        Dan, whom Lizzy meets in mass while kneeling next to him in prayer, 
whom she cajoles, “Wouldn’t you like to have sex one last time before you 
take your vows?” (Not wedding.  Priestly.)

•        Metrosexual Sasha, from the East Village, who spends his weekends in 
the park perfecting his Tai Chee because, after all, “I feel a lot of pressure to 
look a certain way.” Sasha’s been fasting to lose the 9 ounces he gained 
over Thanksgiving, and he only has three more days to go. This only makes 
Lizzy wonder if she’s (horrors!) fat, especially when Sasha confesses that “I like 
my women to look like little boys.”  Perhaps Lizzy had better pass on Sasha.

•        Colin, whom Lizzy meets in a sports bar, seems promising, though 
unfortunately he only wants to cuddle. “I just want to fall asleep next to 
you,” he confesses, and he does so in short order.

•        David (or is it Seth?) is tall, dark, and Jewish, which causes Lizzy to burst 
out with an enthusiastic “I love Jews!”  She meets him in Las Vegas, and 
“everybody knows there’s no better place to get laid than Sin City.” But 
David (or is it Seth?) has a really weird way of licking up and down the leg of 
her jeans and…

•        On to speed dating, where Lizzy meets in short order a) a Latin lover, b) 
a shoe fetishist, c) a male cheerleader, d) a guy who reveals “One finger up 
my ass and I’ll come” (she’ll definitely pass on that one), and e) a serious type 
who’s saving himself for marriage. Zero out of five here.

•        There’s always a girl’s best male friend as a last resort.  Perhaps he will 
do Lizzy “a little favor.” It doesn’t hurt to ask, does it?

Clearly the opportunity to play all these characters, and more (Alexander 
also gender bends as Sister Gertrude and Lizzy’s girlfriend Jeannie) is an 
actor’s dream come true (and challenge to be met) and Alexander is 
hilariously up to the task.  (That he also makes all his costume changes on 
stage is an additional feat.)  Though Hendy gets to play only one role, it’s one 
which fits the actress/playwright to a T, and she is especially touching in a 
confessional scene where Lizzy bares her heart, though presumably not to 
the sex-addict priest of the news flash.

Tom Buderwitz’s detailed set design, which serves as Lizzy’s apartment and 
various other locales, features carefully picked photos of Barbra, the Pope 
and Oprah, votive candles, the Bridget Jones’ Diary DVD, a Catholic girl’s 
school uniform hanging on the wall, and a “shrine” to Lizzy’s favorite film star 
Matt Damon. Austin Switser created the clever and colorful videos 
projected on a large upstage screen. The excellent lighting is by Michael 
Gilliam, and Cynthia Obsenares deserves special credit for the many 
costumes worn by Alexander, and for designing them in such a way as to 
facilitate quick changes.  

Whether Lizzy eventually loses her virginity, or takes her curtain call still pure 
and untouched, is a question which my lips will not reveal, though readers 
are highly encouraged to visit the Pico Playhouse for the answer, and for a 
delightful hour and a half of laughter.

Pico Playhouse, 10508 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles.

–Steven Stanley
January 17, 2008

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