by j. brotherlove
As anticipated, Atlanta playwright Steve Yockey packs quite a bit in his latest play, Octopus, a “love story rendered through a post-modern gay lens.” The world premiere production by Actor’s Express Theatre tackles an increasingly common relationship decision in an unconventional manner with mostly successful, thought-provoking results.
With a year as a couple under their belt, Kevin and Blake decide to try a little adventure with Andy and Max, a longterm couple they met at the local bar. Shortly before the couple arrive, Blake begins to feel unsure about having sex with other guys. However, Kevin reassures him that it’s “just sex”. They even agree to stop any time either one feels uncomfortable.
Seemingly, the night and clothes go off without a hitch. However, weeks later, jealousy and a jovial Telegram Delivery Boy rise to the surface bringing revelations and questions that perhaps should have been asked before the fateful night began.
Oftentimes cryptic, Yockey challenges the audience to look beyond the characters at their own issues regarding relationships, love, lust and monsters (real and symbolic). Octopus, complete with nudity and notes from the bottom of the sea floor, offers enough physical and emotional struggles to be a hit with fans of experimental and queer-friendly theater; although perhaps a bit heavy for a first date.
On its last night of previews, the cast of Mitchell Anderson (Andy), John Benzinger (Max), Brian Crawford (Telegram Delivery Boy), Tony Larkin (Blake) and Joe Sykes (Kevin) had a good grip on the deep material.
Directed by Kate Warner (artistic director of Dad’s Garage Theatre Company), the 90-minute production swam along well except, oddly enough, during a monologue which came off a bit long and dry. Set designer Kate Conley deserves nods on the inventive set. The production runs through February 23, 2008 at Actor’s Express Theatre in Atlanta.
I can’t wait to see this show. Steve and I have been friends for years, and he sent me the script for this show not long after he wrote it. I was blown away. He is truly an amazing writer, and I am anxious to go to the show.
I want to see it!! Can someone video tape it and put it on youtube?? hahaha
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