Long Beach Playhouse Proudly Presents Cock, A Play About Love and Labels • Long Beach Post

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Images courtesy of Long Beach Playhouse.


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The Long Beach Playhouse is proud to present Cock this weekend and no, it’s not what you think.

In 2009, British playwright Michael Bartlett received the prestigious Lawrence Olivier award for the play he wrote about a man who takes a break from his relationship with his controlling boyfriend, only to fall in love with a woman.

cock2“People may come to see the show somewhat tantalized by the title and be surprised to find the word cock is British slang for something gone awry,” said Andrew Vonderschmitt, executive and artistic director for the Playhouse, in an earlier press statement.

The work examines relationships, sexual identity, commitment, self-knowledge and family obligations in a new and unique way.

“The play is filled with moments of truly beautiful dialogue as well as painful truths that hit home when we think about our own lives,” he said. 

In Vonderschmitt’s interview with Cock Director, Gregory Cohen, who has more than 20 Playhouse productions to his credit, the two discuss Bartlett’s choice of title.

Cohen explained that the term “cock” is British slang for nonsense, while it’s also inspired by confining societal labels.

“They trap us in a given identity – like a pen or a cock-fighting ring,” Cohen tells Vonderschmitt. “The cock-fight imagery sets that up beautifully. Our central character, John, finds himself in such a trap, asking why ‘what you are’ is more important than ‘who you love.’ The bigger question, however, is how strong must a cock be in order to escape unscarred.”

cock3The play has four characters, one named John, and the other three characterized as “M,” “W” and “F” standing for Man, Woman and Father. The four actors, Leigh Hayes, Evan Battle, Lexington Vanderberg and Dean Figone are all Playhouse veterans seeking to take their audience on a “funny, thought-provoking and maybe even painful” journey, in the words of Vonderschmitt.

“But isn’t that life?” he added.

Special events surrounding the opening of the play include a pay-what-you-can event on Thursday, June 11 where the community can see the production for whatever they can afford. Guests can pay $12 for a Two-for-One Preview on Friday, June 12, while the Opening Night Champagne Reception with the cast on Saturday, June 13 will sell tickets for $27.

Adults are $24.00, seniors $21.00, and Students $14.00. Tickets are available by clicking here or by calling 562.494.1014, option 1.

Performances are 8:00PM Friday and Saturday and 2:00PM Sunday. The box office is open Wednesday through Saturday from 3:00PM to 8:00PM and Sundays from 1:00PM to 2:00PM on scheduled matinees.

Long Beach Playhouse is located at 5021 East Anaheim Street.

Asia Morris is a Long Beach native covering arts and culture for the Long Beach Post. You can reach her @hugelandmass on Twitter and Instagram and at [email protected].

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