9 CIRCLES by Bill Cain is a terrific play. A psychological thriller based on actual events, 9 CIRCLES tells the story of an American soldier on trial for his life. The young soldier is honorably discharged but then accused of an unspeakable war crime in Iraq. It’s haunting and powerful, well directed and has great performances all the way around.
As for the NUDITY — this production is only a 2. Sad face. From reading about this play online, apparently it was written (and usually performed) with full frontal nudity in two instances. However, here in this production, the lead character turns his back on the audience at those two moments. Perhaps a decision by the director? Or the director and the actor? Hard to ever really know. The character with the nudity is the lead and played by a young British actor named Josh Collins.
This guy is absolutely STUNNING. The photo here does not do him justice. He is tall and slender with dirty blond hair, beautiful blue eyes and irresistible dimples. He has a perfect swimmers body, spectacular ass, and I gotta say, his nudity from behind is worth the price of admission. (In addition, of course, its a great play, worth the price of admission).
After the first scene he changes out of his army fatigues on stage and goes down to fully naked. He stands far upstage (although the theater is very small) with his back to the audience. Then he puts on boxers and a wife-beater. He does the next scene in just the boxers and undershirt and as he riles around on the floor you can catch quick glimpses up the boxers of his balls (if you’re looking there, and we know you all are).
Later in the play he is shirtless for part of a scene. And later in the scene before last, he is supposed to take off all his clothes and bathe himself. Other productions talk about the full frontal nudity here. BUT in this production, he sits in a chair with his back squared off to the audience, again all the way upstage, and he takes off his clothes while sitting. Again, we see his ass, but harder to see than earlier because he is sitting in a chair. He slips on pants, gets up and then he washes himself in a basin.
As much as I’m bummed to not have witnessed the two frontal moments of this beauty — I did love this play and it has stayed with me. Well worth seeing.
PHOTO: David St. Louis (left), Josh Collins (right)