by Lynn on June 7, 2017

in The Passionate Playgoer

At the Lemon Tree Studio, 58 Stewart St. Toronto, Ont.

Written by Raf Antonio
Directed by Indrit Kasapi
Set, costumes and lighting by Joe Pagnan
Original composition by Dustin Peters
Sound by Deanna Choi

A look into the world and the power of the erotic and the evolving nature of queer love today. The production is up close and intimate.

Nacio is a photographer who is trying to get established. He sees Lobo in a local coffee shop and takes his picture. There is a spark between them. It seems that they met before in Vancouver and Lobo was taken with Nacio. The connection between them is strong with much flirting. The problem is that Nacio is in a non-physical sexual partnership with Felix, a musician and composer. Nacio says that he and Felix have a cerebral sexual connection. The relationships between the three men take interesting turns when Felix meets Lobo.

Raf Antonio opens up the almost secretive erotic world of queer love to a straight as well as queer audience. His dialogue between Lobo and Nacio is instantly flirty. Each man comes up with a smart retort to up the banter. At times it seems as if both Augusto Bitter as Nacio and Chy Ryan Spain as Lobo are batting banter back and forth, rather than making it seem like dialogue. Over time an aching intimacy between Lobo and Nacio is developed with Spain being the most varied of the three actors. Bitter establishes his confusion and unease quite nicely.

In Indrit Kasapi’s careful production, this banter is the two men marking out their territory and coming on to the other. Eventually they are able to go deeper into the relationship and thus Nacio must question his relationship with Felix.

As Felix, Allie MacDonald is a graceful character who is needy for Nacio even though they have agreed on what their relationship will be. I was mystified as to why their relationship was not physically sexual. If Raf Antonio explains it in his play I missed it. I think that idea needs developing.

The audience is small because they follow the action between the various locations in the story. While there are a few chairs on which to sit, this is a true immersive theatre production. As usual Joe Pagnan brings his sharp, creative eye to creating the world of the play in his set, costumes and moody lighting design.

Raf Antonio examines an interesting subject: erotic love and its power in a queer world and he does it with style and intelligence. I look forward to his next play.

Presented by LemonTree Creations

First Perforamance: May 28, 2017.
Saw it: June 6, 2017.
Closes: June 10, 2017.
Cast: 3 men.
Running Time: 90 minutes

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