Justin Huertas' Debuts New Musical at ArtsWest

'The Last World Octopus Wrestling Champion' is a story of a high school student who develops new abilities (the title may or may not be a spoiler)
WELL ARMED: Playwright Justin Huertas with, on left, Porscha Shaw who plays Nia, and right, Rachel Guyer-Mafune who plays Lee, in ArtsWest’s 'The Last World Octopus Wrestling Champion'

This article appears in print in the June 2019 issue. Click here to subscribe.

Actor, writer, composer, producer and general-purpose theater geek Justin Huertas has carved out a unique niche by incorporating relatable coming-of-age themes into fantasy settings. His first high-profile show, 2015’s Lizard Boy, developed and then staged by Seattle Repertory Theatre, imaginatively morphed Huertas’ own coming-out experience into a comic-book superhero origin story; it won four Gregory Awards and moved on to a production in San Diego. The Pacific Lutheran University grad’s follow-up was an adaptation of Diana Wynne Jones’ magical adventure novel Howl’s Moving Castle, staged by Book-It Repertory Theatre in fall 2017. Now, ArtsWest is premiering his new musical, The Last World Octopus Wrestling Champion, the story of a high school student who discovers, and must contend with, a secret from her mother’s past (the title may or may not be a spoiler), which results in “the arrival of strange new abilities.” 6/20–7/28. Times and prices vary. ArtsWest Playhouse and Gallery, West Seattle, 4711 California Ave. SW; 206.938.0963

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