Sunday, May 06, 2007

An Octopus Love Story

photo: Mike Klar

The love story of the title, between a gay man and a lesbian who agree to a sham marriage as a socio-political publicity stunt, sounds like it could make for a groanworthy sitcom-deep play, but Delaney Britt Brewer's comedy-drama is smart and snappy, and it's more questioning than you might expect. The play goes to places (about gay identity and about the importance of desire, for instance) that are unsettlingly messy and deeply human - there is sharp social observation under the play's entertaining surface of comic situations and nifty laugh lines. The shoestring production is less than ideal (some of the staging is clunky, and the set changes take too long) and I could quibble that two supporting performances are pushed to be too broad, but that doesn't hold me back from happily recommending this solid off-off treat by a new, promising playwright.

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