Cock

 

By Mike BartlettCOCK-at-Profiles-Theater-POSTER

Directed by Darrell W. Cox

At Profiles Theatre’s The Main Stage, Chicago

Impressive set sets the tone for provocative comedy

Upon entering Katie-Bell Springmann’s Mexican cock fitting mini-stadium complete with wooden stands and a saw dust pit where, in this case, will house humans sparing for John’s (Christopher Sheard) love and companionship. In  Mike Bartlet’s Cock, now playing at Profiles’ Main Stage, we witness a battle.  Four souls engage in mortal combat as sexual identity is being decided after much internal confusion.  We meet John and his boyfriend M (Jake Szczepaniak) as they argue about their disintegrating relationship. M is a dominating guy while John is a timid and passive person. They argue yet John does love M who also loves  John but the two seem doomed to leave one another. They fight in the pit as John tells M about the girl he is now attracted to both sexually and personally. M feels betrayed, especially by losing out to a woman.  John is totally conflicted and torn.

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After  the bell rings a few time, enter John and W (Eleni Pappageorge) the woman who senses and is attracted to John. She learns early on that John is gay but that doesn’t seem to deter her from seducing him into her bed. There is a partial nude scene filled with sexy talk that sure seems to turn on John to a woman for the first time. Now the battle for John ensues.

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John and M agree to have John bring W to their place for dinner so the three con settle this problem. As the battle for John erupts, M and W have many funny quips as the two ‘bitch battle.’ But when M brings his father F (Larry Neuman,Jr.) in as a reinforcement, the tug of war only increases John’s indecision. Can one love two people at once with one a man and the other a woman? The decision to choose one over the other can be daunting. Many folks have had sexual encounters  and love feelings with the same sex partners yet they are comfortable with their personal identify. Cock dramatizes one person’s confusion.

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John feels the physical and emotional manipulation as M and W battle for his soul. But making a choice about his identity and his sexual preference is so confusing that his self hood is totally confused. Can John actually make a decision? W is a kind, sexy woman who treats John nicely as the two have much in common and John does lover her or stay with M who John dearly loves but M treats John aggressively dominating his life as M and John are polar opposites. Who will John choose? You’ll have to spend 85 minutes in the amphitheater at Profiles Theatre cheering for John  to make the right choice whatever that may be.

Christopher Sheard is terrific as we quickly emphasize with his problem. He brings an innocent honesty to John. Jake Szczepaniak and Eleni Pappageorge bring a high octane emotion to their roles. Better the two slow down their speeches (arguments really) since when they talk extremely fast, much of their meaning gets lost. Larry Neumann, Jr. brings parental support in a fine cameo role.

Cock is a provocative take on sexual identity filled with laughs, sexy situations and characters that will get you rooting for John. It is a different take on sexual identity that more folks face than we know. The battle rages…

Recommended

Tom Williams

Talk Theatre in Chicago podcast

Date Reviewed: February 21, 2014

Jeff Recommended

For more info checkout the Cock page at theatreinchicago.com

At Profiles Theatre, the Main Stage, 4139 N. Broadway, Chicago, IL, call 773-549-1815, www.profilestheatre.org, tickets $35 – $40, Thursdays & Fridays at 8 pm, Saturdays at 5 & 8 pm, Sundays at 7 pm, running time is 85 minutes without intermission,through April 6, 2014
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