Review by Jeanne Kinley Deller
Justin Huertas’ hot-off-the-press World Premier musical, “The Last World Octopus Wrestling Champion,” is a delight at ArtsWest in West Seattle. It’s sure to win you over with its unconventional take on family, love, and the most surprising, metamorphosing eruption right here in our very own Puget Sound.
The defining word that comes most to mind in reflecting on “The Last World Octopus Wrestling Champion” is fantastical. Fun, frenzied, and, yes, absolutely fantastical, with highly talented actors and musical numbers that wend their way into the hearts and minds of the audience.
Interestingly, Justin’s composition for this eclectic show, “Sleep Well Love,” was his first clue that he “was writing an entire musical about love.” As a reprise for the entire cast, with its beautifully elevating lyrics, this song proves to be an absolute winner. Rachel Guyer-Mafune (Lee) and Porscha Shaw ( Nia), seriously mesmerized in their wild duet, “Tentacles,” are digitally hilarious.
Congratulations to Justin Huertas (Gregory Award-winning playwright of “Lizard Boy”), and ArtsWest’s Artistic Director Mathew Wright, for bringing this fantastical show to ArtsWest’s stage – there’s no doubt you and your cephalopods are on the forefront of another hit in the ocean of musical theatre. Thank you!
“The Last World Octopus Wrestling Champion” is currently on stage at ArtsWest in West Seattle now through July 28, 2019. Tickets available here.
Book, music, and lyrics by Justin Huertas. Musical arrangements & orchestrations by Steven Tran. Directed by Mathew Wright.