Theater

Four Naked Men Explore the Aftermath of an Orgy in Surreal Play Octopus

I'm not easily shocked at the theater. When you see 50 to 75 productions a year, it takes a special show to you leave you speechless. Steve Yockey's Octopus at Island City Stage is that show.

Not even 15 minutes pass, and the audience is already eavesdropping on an all-male, full-frontal foursome, the result of two couples who should probably be in therapy but instead decide to be in each other.

And yet the initial shock at seeing everything — which makes a faux-risqué musical like The Full Monty look like a benign comedy for the ladies' luncheon set — wears off as quickly as it arrives. That's because the uninhibited actors are comfortable with it themselves and because it's an unexpectedly beautiful scene, staged like an erotic ballet of rotating configurations, the eight arms of the men beginning to give you some idea of the title's symbolism.

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John Thomason
Contact: John Thomason