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Theater Review: "Lizard Boy: the Musical"

From the Seattle Repertory Theatre production of Lizard Boy by Justin Huertas.
Photo credit:
Seattle Repertory Theatre

And now for something completely different....

A small cast delivers big audience satisfaction in the quirky “Lizard Boy, the Musical,” playing through Oct. 30 at Diversionary Theatre.

It’s a story like no other, in a show the likes of which I’m sure you’ve never seen. In any case, I can almost guarantee you’ll like it.

“Lizard Boy” is a three-hander by Seattle native and actor Justin Huertas, who drew on his own experience as a Filipino American (and therefore an “outsider” with darker skin than his compatriots) for the basic story.

Then he added two other terrific characters, elements of mythology, a comic-book superhero mentality and a whole bunch of songs with clever, sometimes laugh-out-loud lyrics. Huertas, in addition to his other skills, toured as a cellist in “Spring Awakening,” and shows off his talent here in that department as well.

The director, actors and costumes are from Seattle, but local designers created new sets (Ron Logan, who along with Joe Huppert also did new projections). Matt Lescault-Wood designed the sound, and Curtis Mueller did the lighting.

The basic story: Huertas plays Trevor, a lonely kid who in a freak accidental encounter with a dragon from Mt. St. Helens (don’t ask) was left with scaly green skin. He only goes out once a year, during MonsterFest, when his “costume” brings accolades.

But now he’s grown up and in need of human connection.

So of course, he goes online to Grindr, where he finds Cary (William A. Williams), and actually makes a plan to meet.

He’s a bit nonplussed by the sight of the adorably dorky Cary in his, well, underwear, but when they happen to pass a poster for a singer at The Crocodile, Trevor is brought up short. He knows her: she’s been inhabiting his dreams for quite a while, so he insists they go to the Crocodile (after Cary puts on his pants), where Trevor deserts Cary for the dressing room in order to meet Siren (Kirsten deLohr Helland).

Turns out she’s a blonde lady with a great figure in a tight red suit and an indescribable fur coat. She has some history with dragons and a lovely voice that is equally comfortable belting out a song or floating a high vocal line. Oh, and she plays several instruments, including melodica and ukulele.

The rest of the show shows Trevor and Cary’s tentative steps toward connection and Trevor’s attempts to get away from Siren (who says she needs his “power” in order to avoid a dragonopalypse and the possible end of the world).

“Lizard Boy” is smartly written, wonderfully acted and wittily directed by Brandon Ivie (also imported from Seattle).

Huertas is a find as the hopeful Trevor – funny, vulnerable and talented as all get-out. Williams is a stitch as the awkward but equally hopeful Cary. DeLohr Helland is a power of nature vocally and shows great skill for comedy as well.

I’m guessing this Seattle import will soon be touring elsewhere, likely to end up in New York. Get your tickets now.

The details:

“Lizard Boy: the Musical” plays through October 30, 2016 at Diversionary Theatre, 4545 Park Boulevard in University Heights.

Thursday at 7 pm; Friday and Saturday at 8 pm; Sunday at 2 pm

Tickets:  (619) 220-0097 or diversionary.org