Opening Night Review


Written by Indigo A.K. Jones

Shelby Simpson, author of We’re all Bad in Bed, native Oklahoman memoirist is moving the needle forward in the world of comedic sexual narratives that bring alongside healing. Bad in Bed Live makes its debut performance as the first ever Tower Theatre stage production; transformed into a plush 90s bedroom by Chi Gallery. Entirely sold out on opening night, Shelby weaves stories threaded from her mausoleum of sex stories that are both reviving and raunchy. Bad in Bed Live is a personal invitation addressed to a culture hungry to sink deeper into their seat, and to let loose.

In the heart of the Bible Belt, a wave of gratitude spread across Thursday’s audience. Bad in Bed serves as both a reprieve from the sexual culture that is steeped in realms of repression, distortion, and too-high-expectation. What do our intimate lives say about self-perception? What societal messaging needs reprogramming in the department of sexual transparency and lightheartedness?

Shelby brings us on a necessary emotional journey with humor as the sidekick; which is, after all, medicinal. Her stories belong to all of us. Our personal, oftentimes hidden sexual narrative serves as one of the more defining roles of identity-association. “No single attribute defines me,” Shelby reminds the audience, “ is healthy, culture is problematic.”

She speaks words we all needed to hear. Hannah Royce, cast member and bonafide badass woman says, “The city wants to see us do it.” As if storytelling were ushering in a sexual revolution; one that permits openness, preferences, and total empowerment by way of all three. What is born when humor and storytelling join hands? Openness. We are like cats in heat; animals reserved only for passion. If we mask our desire, what are the longterm effects? If you are uncomfortable talking about sex, you should go see Bad in Bed Live this weekend as a form of comedic therapy.

By way of Shelby’s wit and wisdom and the tenacity of a kindred crew and cast, perhaps a new sexual narrative was born on our horizon; beginning with medicinal openness. Shelby lives in tandem with a willingness to tell real stories. Bad in Bed Live encouraged us to laugh at ourselves; perhaps for the first time in this honest and permissive way — which allows for being more playful.  The kind of belly laughter you shared with your first best friend that you made dirty jokes with.

Shelby Simpson