"Octopus" show review 

When I say that Octopus is "gutsy," know that anatomically I'm thinking lower. Bryan Fonseca's presentation is full frontal gutsy and teetering bravely toward ridiculous. The play opens as two gay couples meet for wine and partner swapping, ignoring the many unhappy consequences that could easily follow. Atlanta playwright Steven Yockey's easygoing dialogue observes the differences between new couples, who try too hard to please/control one another, and old couples, who dig on their mates' foibles. After a surprisingly tasteful, dimly lit nude group-sex scene, Yockey unleashes a mix of magical realism and grit to tell the truth about romantic commitments: Couples say "in sickness and in health," but they're pretty much counting on the latter. I love that truth, the magic and Yockey's extended water metaphor sloshing all over the stage. So I forgive his two overly long and didactic speeches about facing death and what it means to love someone all the way. Jason Gloye, Ricardo Melendez, Ben Snyder and Nate Walden take what could be just four lovable tan, pumped up gay stereotypes into some dark-night-of-the-soul territory and then emerge in a fairy tale ending. Though I'm a fan of that gray area in between, the way Octopus swings for the extremes makes for 90 minutes of trippy, very enjoyable theater. Through July 11; 635-7529.

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