When Can a Bromance Become a Romance?

Jonny Rodgers and Michael Lutheran as the central couple in No HomoEXPAND
Jonny Rodgers and Michael Lutheran as the central couple in No Homo
Corwin Evans

What if everyone thought that you and your roommate were more than just friends?

That's the question posed by No Homo, a dramedy now playing at the Atwater Village Theatre. The play, by Brandon Baruch (one of L.A.'s go-to lighting designers), explores the relationship of two best friends, Luke (Michael Lutheran) and Ash (Jonny Rodgers). They're adamant that they're both straight, and everyone else is convinced they're a gay couple.

Could they be gay? The answer isn't cut-and-dried, but it's fun to watch the cast explore the question. Luke is conflicted about his sexuality, while Ash is devoted to their relationship, regardless of whether it's platonic or sexual, and they complement each other well. Baruch's script has some strong comedic moments that are deftly directed by Jessica Hanna, whose pacing of the play is just about perfect.

As is the case in many comedies, the supporting roles are the scene stealers, and Elizabeth Ellson's earnest Babette (Luke's girlfriend) and Henry McMillan's Kris (an out and proud friend of the couple) are the show's best characters.

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No Homo, which runs about 90 minutes, is engaging, and asks the audience to examine its conception of sexuality. But the last scene leaves too many questions unresolved; it feels more like the end to the first act. These characters are complex, and there's a longer story to be told about them.

Atwater Village Theatre, 3269 Casitas Ave., Atwater Village; through Aug. 23. (800) 838-3006, nohomo.brownpapertickets.com

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