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BWW Review: LIZARD BOY at TheatreWorks Silicon Valley

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Lizard Boy

BWW Review: LIZARD BOY at TheatreWorks Silicon Valley

Lizard Boy

Book, Music, Lyrics by Justin Huertas
Directed by Brandon Ivie

TheatreWorks Silicon Valley

TheatreWorks Silicon Valley opens its much-anticipated 51st season with a sensational production of Lizard Boy, first time playwright-actor-composer Justin Huertas' quirky mythological hero journey that is both a universal and deeply individual story of accepting oneself. With its uniquely original indie-folk score performed on assorted instruments by the three-person cast, solid acting and vocal performances and a script unlike any you've seen recently, Lizard Boy is engaging, funny and empowering must-see theatre.

BWW Review: LIZARD BOY at TheatreWorks Silicon Valley
Trevor (Justin Huertas) is romanced on a first date with Cary (William A. Williams).

A fantastical comic-book plot full of intrigue, premonitions, and an end-of the world dragon filled apocalypse keeps the audience on its toes - is this reality or fantasy? The anti-hero is Trevor (Justin Huertas), who through a strange encounter with a dragon's blood at age five, has green scales and a developing thorny spine. Forced into the margins, he only feels 'normal' on Monsterfest, a yearly festival dedicated to dragons. Dumped by a guy a year ago, he's been isolated, drawing pictures of a blond mystery Siren and writing songs.

BWW Review: LIZARD BOY at TheatreWorks Silicon Valley
Siren (Kirsten "Kiki" deLohr Helland) performs at Seattle dive bar The Crocodile.

Kirsten "Kiki" deLohr Helland plays that mysterious siren with a growling menace and a mission to save the world that will entrap Trevor and his new Grindr date Cary (William A. Williams). The eclectic score, played on kazoo, glockenspiel, melodica, cello, ukulele, piano and egg shaker, expertly provides the exposition of Trevor's alienation ("Different from You"), Trevor and Cary's awkward first date anxieties ("4th and Vine) and Siren's dark world view ("Terrible Ride").

BWW Review: LIZARD BOY at TheatreWorks Silicon Valley
Siren (Kirsten "Kiki" deLohr Helland), Trevor (Justin Huertas), and Cary (William A. Williams) battle.

Helland and Williams originated their roles and are exceptional, the former exuding menace, the latter, a sweet unblinded innocence. When Trevor questions his self-worth, Cary sweetly tells him he needs to see the good in himself. The comic book aspects of time shifting, slow-motion fights, and impending doom are wonderfully staged by director Brandon Ivie, lighting designer Robert J. Aguilar, production designer L.B. Morse, and sound designer Jeff Mockus.

BWW Review: LIZARD BOY at TheatreWorks Silicon Valley
Cary (William A. Williams), Siren (Kirsten "Kiki" deLohr Helland) and Trevor (Justin Huertas) engage in an epic battle.

Like all good comic book superhero stories, there's a satisfying finale of self-acceptance, scales, and all. Huertas' Lizard Boy is a metaphor of course, having experienced his own Filipino brown scales in a white world. Commissioned in 2015 by Seattle Repertory Theatre, Lizard Boy continues to develop and enchant audiences with its inventiveness, charm, and creativity. What are your scales?

Lizard Boy continues through October 31st. Tickets available for both in-person and streaming performances by contacting (650) 463-1960 or www.theatreworks.org

Photo credits: Kevin Berne


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