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‘Pinned Butterfly’ strikes a nerve

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'Pinned Butterfly' strikes a nerve
GenevaMay Colcol and Shannon Anastasia in the world premiere of “Pinned Butterfly” through April 20 in Concord. (Photo by Jerry Potter)

Many of us share the questions that playwright Adam Esquenazi Douglas asks in the World Premiere “Pinned Butterfly.” After years of fighting for equality for friends and family we wonder could gay marriage be too good to be true? How can conversion therapy still be legal?

When members of BKPride gather to organize their first Gay Pride March, the committee cannot agree – should they host a Gay Rights March or a Pride Parade full of costumes and celebration? One of the group’s members wants to exclude the bisexual community.  “Who cares if bisexuals are thrown under the bus?”

During the pre-show, members of the acting company mingled on stage chatting as though attending a meeting for a local LGBT group.  Audience members did not realize the show had started. After a few minutes observing theatre protocol, I looked at the stranger next to me and said “It makes me want to talk.”

What “Pinned Butterfly” actually did was make me want to listen. The B-8 play, tightly directed by Peet Cocke, strikes a nerve. For those of us who lived through the genesis of the AIDS epidemic in the 1980 and illustrated in dramas like “Normal Heart” and “As Is,” there are still questions to be answered.

When the group’s infighting rears its ugly head, the show really wrapped me in. Esquenazi Douglas’ dialogue is poetic and meaty. The acting is extraordinary. Julian Christopher Geritz displays an array of emotional dynamics, and as the group’s leader Michael Cutter, a character you despise, yet feel sympathy for. The Ensemble cast excels and includes GenevaMay Colcol, Shannon Anastasia, Lester Isariuz, Emanuel Morales and Oz Herrara-Sobal.

The play has its pulse on immediacy and is well orchestrated, full of emotion, and coupled with wonderful laugh lines. In the end the play is about love and acceptance, and the performers demonstrate incredible depth and understanding.

The world premiere runs through April 20 at their temporary home at the Concord Historical Society, 1928 Clayton Road.  For tickets call 925-890-8877 or visit b8theatre.org.

Kathryn G. McCarty is well-known around the Bay Area as an educator, playwright and journalist. Send comments to KGMcCarty@gmail.com.

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