Sunday, March 1, 2015

Review: Circle Circle Dot Dot

photo courtesy of Cameron Cole
Remember those little fortune teller things that you used to play with during elementary school? You know those paper hand puppet-like contraptions that gave you the answers to life. One of the number of titles for this item is also a cootie catcher. In the new solo piece of the same name, Lucas Brooks uses it to catch cooties, or in this world, STIs, to tell the stories of his sexual past.
Cootie Catcher is a grand solo piece that explores one man’s past experience through STI scares and how it altered his views. Don’t be scared of the subject because Brooks brings light to his situations. From gonorrhea to HIV, he has scared them all away in this live Sex-Ed class. Only instead of science, Brooks gives you firsthand stories. Lucas Brooks is snarktastic in his demeanor and it works well for the piece. His quick wit and jokes almost pass unnoticed proving his sharp tongue. Though you may not warm up to him immediately, once you understand his style, he becomes captivating. The message that Brooks conveys is one of safe isn’t always safe but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still take precautions. Though Cootie Catcher is sort of a follow up to his previous solo piece, it still stands on its own. The most difficult task Brooks faced was getting an audience who, for whatever reason, didn’t want to participate, to participate. Once he breaks through that fourth wall, inviting the audience into the themes, which for some are a bit edgy, is key to winning.
Director David Drake expertly guided Brooks from story to story, finding the right moments of sarcasm, truth, and emotion. His simple staging allowed Brooks to live in each story, utilizing a single chair and the open stage. The concert-like aura during the transition music kept the momentum flowing. Using fitting music to lead into each story, Brooks highlights his dance talents to the max. And kudos to Brooks for rarely getting a moment to breath.
A one man show inspired by sexually transmitted infections sounds like the worst concept. Thankfully, with a straightforward presentation and a whole lot of funny, Cootie Catcher is shares stories that many blush before telling.