Fringe Festival review: 3boys

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****
Becca Schlossberg's taut 40-minute play, a canine allegory about the hierarchies of masculine energy, offers a compelling and mournful snapshot of the male psyche. Comet (Matt Brown) is the breeding dog, as chosen by his female owner; Lee (Alex Engquist) and Zip (Patrick Horn) are spayed, submissive neuters. Harnessed to a post in the yard, Comet can't be tied down: He's the driven alpha stud—"Picture writing a poem with your dick," he says about the last bitch he bred—who, no matter how much you might want him to love you, turns out to be impossible to contain. Although there is an undercurrent of homoerotic energy to the dogs' interactions, Schlossberg and director Madeline Rose M. Parsigian balance the testosterone in what is ultimate a serious piece. Charmingly bouncing about the stage, the actors seem to be having a blast, but 3boys is no mere walk in the park: It has bite.—David Bell