Fallout’s semi-regular event, Bibliophilia, seeks the humor in sex scenes from pulp romance novels and legendarily bad fanfic My Immortal. It’s not too hard to find.
Most comedy acts don’t include the phrases, “feeling his desire harden,” or, “spinning out the golden threads of their passion,” but Bibliophilia isn’t most comedy acts.
Benjamin Braman, a local standup comedian, recently started an entertainment event that features Richmond comedians reading the promiscuous sections of cheap, pulp-fiction romance novels. You know the ones — those melodramatic illustrations of a man and woman on the covers with creative, original titles like A Lady By Midnight or His Dirty Secret.
“The show started from a bit I used to do in my stand up open mic sets, when I didn’t have a lot of material,” Braman said. “I would bring in this old porn book and read random passages to the audience.”
Fresh out of college, Braman began his comedic performances in 2010, and has been performing ever since. Whenever his performance was lacking for content, he pulled out an old book titled I Lust Lucy.
“It was always a good hit, and the manager of Fallout was always a fan, and eventually we were both able to plan the event,” Braman said.
Fallout, the private, fetish-themed nightclub in Shockoe Bottom, commonly hosts kink events, as well as themed parties, drag shows, and burlesque. Braman’s Bibliophilia fits right in. All perverts welcome.
Last week, the last portion of the show even included a reading from the now-infamous Harry Potter fanfiction, “My Immortal.” It was quite entertaining; I was only sad they didn’t read it like a stage-play, each reading a different character’s lines. Instead, they took turns reading each page.
Featured readings also included excerpts from works by authors like Chuck Tingle, Sasha Grey, E.P. Murray, and even Bill O’Reilly, who once took time out of his busy career as a right-wing, fear mongering television host to produce some smutty fiction novels. One book reviewer wrote, “None of it, thanks to O’Reilly’s wooden writing and lack of originality, was surprising or believable for a minute.” Add it to the Bibliophilia reading list.
Featuring about ten performers, Braman casts Bibliophilia’s readers from people he knows in the stand-up and burlesque world.
“As we continue to put this show on, I would love to get people from all across the Richmond arts spectrum,” Braman said. “I’d love to see how different performers and artists interpret the material.”
Luckily, while Fallout is a private members-only club, Bibliophilia is a non-members’ event. Braman hopes the event will occur more often. If you have a chance to go, I definitely recommend it. Not only was I laughing throughout, but it made my kinky little heart swell with joy.
Braman predicts the next show will take place near the end of April. Keep an eye on Fallout’s facebook page for the official announcement.