Lesbian Love Octagon. Kraine Theater (see Off-Off Broadway). Music and lyrics by Will Larche. Book and lyrics by Kimberlea Kressal. Directed by Kressal. With ensemble cast. Running time: 2hrs. One intermission.
Lesbian Love Octagon: Plot synopsis
Kimberlea Kressal and Will Larche's musical comedy about dyke drama revolves around a 1990s lesbian, Sue, who soothes her broken heart with various ex-girlfriends and tangled webs. Each performance features a guest star from the NYC art and nightlife scenes.
Lesbian Love Octagon: Theater review
Like a “Ubiquitous Ex-Girlfriend”—one of the cleverer-than-expected songs in this musical rom-com—Lesbian Love Octagon has been hanging around for a while. (It was last seen at the Kraine in 2010.) Yet despite being set in late-’90s NYC, the show is fresh, funny and almost as stimulating as that vibrator the cast raffles off at intermission.
Adorkable dyke Sue (Caitlin Lee Reid) has just been dumped by image-conscious bi Darla (Kristian Espiritu) for Jerry (Jax Jackson), a transitioning female-to-male who happens to be one of Sue’s exes. The sudden singleton finds discomfort in the company of her lesbian sisters, who’ve seemingly all slept with one another. Even if you need to google a reference or ten, audiences of all persuasions should relate to the loopy incestuousness of it all, and book writer Kim Kressal makes sure the characters are never defined solely by their sexuality.
Camp, thankfully, is also kept to a minimum. Yes, there are the inevitable cat and Park Slope Co-op jokes, but most of the humor is rooted in complex relationships, and there’s always genuine emotion coursing underneath. Will Larche’s heterogeneous score is also delightful: It starts off Sondheimy (appropriate, since the show owes a bit to Company) but also encompasses pop, blues, traditional show tunes and even slam poetry. Being unlucky in love has never felt so Sapphofying.—Theater review by Raven Snook
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