Categories: Cori Wilbur, THE BUZZ

THE BUZZ: Justin Huertas and Kirsten deLohr Helland Bring the Spirit of ‘Lizard Boy’ to the Virtual Sphere

Justin Huertas and the cast of ‘Lizard Boy’ at Diversionary Theatre (2016)

By Cori Wilbur

May 12, 2020

The ‘lizards’–composer Justin Huertas and collaborator Kirsten ‘Kiki’ deLohr Helland, stars of award-winning play Lizard Boy –took over Diversionary Theatre’s YouTube channel this past Saturday night. Live from the Lizard Lounge was a performance of songs from Lizard Boy and other samples of Huertas resume, streamed from his Seattle apartment. The playwright also authored The Last World Octopus Wrestling Champion and a musical-adaptation of Howl’s Moving Castle.

Lizard Boy, which made its San Diego debut at Diversionary Theatre back in 2016, is a critically-acclaimed ‘folk rock musical’ which blends a coming-of-age narrative with a nod to comic books and mythology. 

The benefit to a night at the theater is a distinct two-way street–the audience revels in the pathos or humor and the actors thrive from the emotional reaction. Before the novel coronavirus earned its own tab on popular news sites, routine trips to the theater filled up my monthly schedule. What ultimately felt good, in attending this virtual showing, was the idea that I was supporting a field that holds so much significance in my life. 

“Obviously, the arts thrive on human interaction,” deLohr Helland acknowledged during the Q&A portion of the performance in the latter half of the hour. “[This current situation is a] challenge but we’re rising to it.”

In Seattle, people start cheering in support of the healthcare workers at 8pm, the sound which marked the end of the performance as a somber reminder of our situation but also a beacon of hope. When the dust of the pandemic settles, as it eventually will, and places us at our ‘new normal,’ the art community will be our line of support as we adjust. Until then, we must continue to support the artists, even through brief encounters, like Live from the Lizard Lounge

Huertas will also be making an appearance on the Seattle Repertory Theatre’s YouTube channel this Wednesday, May 13, at 5pm, for another live stream performance. You can find out more by visiting his Twitter @justinhuertas or Instagram @justinhuertas. You can also visit deHelland’s Instagram @kiki_dela to see what else the songstress is up to. 

To see what else Diversionary Theatre has in store, please visit

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