There’s no better celebration for Gay Pride than this world premiere drama, produced by a brand new theatre company and playing in the heart of Boystown. Playwright Crystal Skillman, commissioned to expand a ten-minute academic exercise into a full-length play, has provided Artistic Director Evan F. Caccioppoli with an impressive inaugural production for Kid Brooklyn. Not only is Skillman’s script filled with conflict, interesting characters and stark sexuality, but Caccioppoli’s direction allows it all to play out naturally.
The play opens with Nikki and Peter, a pair of 20-somethings who’ve just met and partied hearty along Rush Street, finally succumbing to sexual temptation on Oak Street Beach. In the next scene, Peter confesses his indiscretion to his long-time lover, Bobby, and spends the rest of the play trying to atone for and justify his mistake. Peter’s reparation turns muddy after becoming involved with Vin, a free-spirited Yoga-practicing beach boy. Bobby’s inability to forgive turns complicated when he begins playing around with Jordy, a young office intern with his own baggage. Added complications involve Peter’s strained paternal relationship, Bobby’s obsession with Nikki and both men’s relationship with Bobby’s soon-to-be-wed brother, Ted, providing some fascinating layers to what might’ve been just another gay love story.
Evan Linder (Peter) and Michael Manocchio (Bobby) create two very real, complicated central characters who are neither good nor bad, right nor wrong. But curiously the play’s supporting characters emerge as the most likable. Charismatic Jude Hanson is an enigmatic and sexually charged Vin. Julia Daubert’s Nikki is appealing, natural and heartbreaking. Justin Harner makes a sweetly lovable Jordy, while Adam Schulmerich’s Ted is the kind, wise young man everyone wishes he knew. Dustin Pettegrew’s simple, sand-filled stage, coupled with Zan Rosenthal’s sounds from nature, splashes the audience right into Lake Michigan.