“Pulpy And Contrived Drama” Draws On Google

    June 27, 2007

Without having seen this play, I hesitate to criticize it.  In fact, I’ll try to refrain from doing so.  But regardless of its value as entertainment or great drama, “I Google Myself” does, as you probably guessed from the title, involve America’s favorite search engine.

A description provided by TheaterMania should get us all on the same page.

I Google Myself, a new play by Queer As Folk writer Jason Schafer, is the unusual story of three very different men with the same name.  One is a gay porn star with a dirty little secret.  One is a stoner mechanic who blogs poetry and has anger management issues.  And another is a wily stalker with a balloon fetish, desperate to make a connection.  Their worlds collide when one man Googles his own name to find others who share his moniker.  What he discovers leads to an unforgettable, ripped-from-the tabloids chain of events that will leave you asking yourself: what would I do to become a top search term on Google?

Right.  Again, I haven’t seen this play, but Jason Zinoman (of The New York Times) has, and he wasn’t exactly blown away (that’s Zinoman’s quote in my title).  Ellen Wernecke (of the New Theater Corps blog) felt differently.  Yet what we’ll note here is Google’s role in all of this; even though the search engine giant had no official involvement, the play still trades on Google’s brand name and issues of public perception.

Which may have suffered as a result.  Zinoman overheard one audience member say, “I’m going to go home and turn off my computer.”

Ah, well.  “I Google Myself” may be, as fellow writer David Utter said, “off-off-off-off-off-off-off Broadway,” but at least it’s giving the Mountain View-based company some more exposure.