Cocksucker: A Love Story

Though it goes out of its way to shock, it's merely amusingly tasteless


Through June 29

Tickets are $20-30



Theatre Rhinoceros, 2926 16th St. (between Mission and South Van Ness), S.F.

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The most offensive part of Cocksucker: A Love Story is the phone chatter between a character named Bill Clinton and his intern, Monica Lewinsky. Even later, when the Lewinsky character gets on her knees, as patriotic background to a more perverted instance of cock-sucking going on center stage, it's not as painful to watch as the cloying phone conversation she has with Bill. The idea that the president really said those things (or something like them) on public time should irritate any taxpayer. The rest of Cocksucker is forgettable. Ronnie Larsen goes out of his way to shock, surprise, and cross the boundaries of taste, but the result is not a terrific play so much as 1 1/2 hours of amusing tastelessness. The lead character, Isaac, has a thing for fellatio that leads him to cross-dress and flirt with straight men as "Sally" -- pretending to be coy in a dress and wig, haunting porn theaters, Marine bases, and truck stops. The concept is good: An obsessive sexual kink sending a grown man on a long underworld odyssey is not only fascinating but also a very San Francisco story. I only wish Larsen had bothered for a few minutes to treat his characters as full human beings. Octavio Saez De Ibarra does well as Isaac, trying to be flirtatious and farcical at the same time; Ronnie Kerr and Josh Feinman as two muscled straight Marines are also compelling. The problem is Cocksucker's relentless camp, which drains the play of its potentially dangerous vitality.

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