Theater review by Adam Feldman
Both nature and nurture take it on the chin in Breeders, Dan Giles’s sly and keen-witted dark comedy. Two young gay men, Mikey (Alton Alburo) and Dean (Jacob Perkins)—boyfriends since they were rural teenagers—await the arrival of a baby; meanwhile, the hamsters they are pet-sitting, lovey-dovey Jason (Fernando Gonzalez) and mercurial Tyson (Lea McKenna-Garcia), must adjust to an unexpected litter. Alternating cleverly between the two couples, Giles shows the strain that impending parenthood puts on both relationships, as insecurity and wanderlust (not to mention regular lust) rear their cloudy heads.
Scrappily directed by Jaki Bradley, Breeders goes in unexpected directions: It includes a hilarious scene of deadpan violence, a soupçon of Greek tragedy and a kind of sex play I don’t think I’ve seen onstage before. At its heart is a cheeky inquiry into the naturalness of domesticity—at one point, Dean spews a vitriolic and very funny rant against LGBT laminated-poster boy Neil Patrick Harris—that transcends distinctions of species, sexuality and gender. There may always be a tension, the play suggests, between those who feel caged in by love and those who are happiest spinning their wheels.
Access Theater (Off-Off Broadway). By Dan Giles. Directed Jaki Bradley. With ensemble cast. Running time: 1hr 15mins. No intermission. Through Oct 14.