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BWW Reviews: Witty NO HOMO Provides a Thoroughly Entertaining Tale of a Misconceived Bromance

NO HOMO/by Brandon Baruch/directed by Jessica Hanna/Atwater Village Theatre/thru August 23, 2015

In NO HOMO, playwright Brandon Baruch has written a very funny, smart and realistic script on the perceived misconceptions of Ash and Luke's relationship. Their respective siblings and their friends think the two admittedly hetero guys really cohabitate as lovers and not just roommates. Jessica Hanna directs her talented cast at a fairly rapid pace keeping the laughs coming in between the many realistic but involving conflicts.

Opening scene has everyone celebrating Serge and Kris's housewarming at the tony waterhole in West Hollywood, The Abbey. Luke's hitting on Babette, but gets interrupted by his sister Chrissy picking this celebratory occasion to come out as a lesbian. All friends leave the bar mad at Luke for a variety of reasons.

By all outward intents and purposes, Ash and Luke seem like a happy gay couple, which they constantly deny. Luke and his estranged sister Chrissy still retain childhood grudges to resolve. Newly moved-in-together Serge and Kris possess trust and commitment issues to process. Babette tries to ignore her belief that Luke's too perfect to be a straight man for her. Miscommunications and mishaps keep the plot advancing in a most entertaining ride.

As the confirmed hetero Luke, Michael James Lutheran easily communicates the confusion over his sexuality and the effects it has on those around him. As the breakfast, lunch and dinner cooking Ash, Jonny Rodgers projects just the right amount of artfulness in his natural 'more gay than straightness.' Lutheran and Rodgers' eventual seduction's simply riveting in both Luke and Ash's awkwardness, innocence, lust and romanticism. Tender! Hot! And. Awwww!

Elizabeth Ellson gives her deceived Babette a sturdy backbone with a believable change of heart. Lauren Flans seems to have much fun as Chrissy, alternately bullying and babying her younger brother Luke. AJ Jones nails his performance as Ash's older brother Serge (who's not good with expressing feelings). Serge's macho exterior exposes some deep real feelings for both his lover Kris and his brother Ash. Jones more than capably handles Serge's aversions to feelings and his later outpourings of emotions. Henry McMillan expertly camps it up as Kris, the quick of tongue and master of attitude change. Both Jones and McMillan play off each other flawlessly in their various arguing/then making-up scenes. Yeahhh!!!

Nice total use of stage space by David Offner's efficient set design of Ash and Luke's living room, Serge and Kris' new apartment, The Abbey, Basix Restaurant and a coffee shop.

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From This Author Gil Kaan