If you’ve never believed there might be homoerotic underpinnings to football, Company One’s “Colossal” will certainly make a believer out of you.
The tale of a college football team features chiseled men in various states of undress, frolicking, high-fiving and butt-slapping like the alpha men they purport to be. At least until the co-captains of this elite squad secretly fall in love.
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Suspending disbelief is one thing, but suggesting a team of college athletes wouldn’t notice, or possibly freak out, when their captains engage in a weightlifting session that includes squats with man-on-man grinding that feels like porn foreplay, teeters on absurd. The aha moment of this burgeoning romance would never happen in front of their teammates, especially given the bullying one of them underwent before he became a football hero.
Mike (Alex Molina) was a ballet dancer who discovered his dance moves would make him a great football player. Against his father’s wishes, he abandoned dance for football and, after a tragic accident, became a paraplegic.
The heart of the story begins at this point when Mike (played post-accident by Marlon Shepard) does battle with his younger self (Molina), his physical therapist Jerry (Greg Maraio) and his father (Tommy Neblett). Toss a broken romance into the mix and you’ve got a story of heartache, frustration and pain that tugs at your heartstrings while shining a spotlight on the brutal reality of football.
Unfortunately, playwright Andrew Hinderaker puts the proverbial accent on the wrong syllable and the result is a convoluted flurry of activity that forces the story to take a backseat to its telling. While director Summer Williams does a masterful job of executing the multitude of activities (including goal posts, scoreboards, a halftime show and a ballet), “Colossal” ends up being hoisted by its own petard.