Funny Guys Pile On the Satire in 'ManCard'

"Unnecessary wussiness will not go unpunished," in Jesse Dienstag and Kirk Pynchon's "ManCard," a bill of 12 hilarious sketches on male bonding of the post-collegiate '90s macho variety. Playing late nights at Theatre/Theater, this good-natured social satire shows life through the eyes of some obnoxious, boisterous boys pretending to be men.

Starting off in an infomercial format, Dienstag and Pynchon pitch the "ManCard." It's the membership card that promises "instant access to all you deserve as a man," although those who don't make the grade may find their ManCard automatically revoked.

"Barfleas" is one of three pieces about two sex-crazed, clueless guys with pretensions of cool who are trying to hook up with the "office babes." "Dictionary" is an interesting take on linguistic gender differences, offering, again in infomercial-style, a dictionary of Man to English and English to Man. After all, "men shouldn't be that complicated," a point also aptly illustrated in "Grunt," where intellectual meanderings are reduced to Neanderthal droolings over beach bunnies. In "Public Service Announcement," they warn that "men opening up to other men is enticing, but deadly."

And what happens when a pair of macho guys are "At the Movies" to see a spy-action flick called "The Crying Game" and fall in love with "that black chick"?

Both Dienstag and Pynchon move seamlessly from the "good" macho wannabe cool guys to the sensitive men who indulge in the "evil sin of sharing." Their timing is faultless as is their physicality.

* "ManCard," Theatre/Theater, 1713 Cahuenga Blvd., Hollywood. Fridays-Saturdays, 10:45 p.m. Ends Feb. 22. $10. (213) 871-0210. Running time: 1 hour.

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