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There was a time not long ago when the notion of a gay man sneaking out on his boyfriend to have sex with a woman was incomprehensible, even laughable.

The situation was almost always reversed, with “bisexuality” serving as a semantic pitstop for many men to eventually come out as gay.

With the emergence of more and more Millennials and Gen Z who identify as pansexual (sexually and romantically attracted to people irrespective of their gender identity or assigned sex), the premise behind Mike Bartlett’s 2009 play “Cock” seems more plausible today.

Empire Stage and ArtBuzz Theatrics are bringing Bartlett’s wry comedy to South Florida and the mostly older, “very gay” audiences will have to decide for themselves.

“Young people are much more comfortable with their sexuality. They’re constantly adding and subtracting labels,” explained co-producer Larry Buzzeo. “They’re more open-minded and it’s more acceptable for gay men to admit being attracted to women, also.”

In Chapter 1, John tells his boyfriend "M" (for man) that he wants to take a break from their seven-year relationship because they argue and “are too different.” Later, after moving out of their apartment, John returns, asking to get back together. He also reveals that he had sex twice with a woman, despite identifying as gay his entire life and never being attracted to women before.

Bartlett uses Chapter 2 to reveal how John met the woman, "W,” and found himself developing a physical attraction before having sex with a woman for the first time. Things get awkward quickly, with John and W preparing for dinner at M's apartment. W expects that John will be breaking up with M to be with her.

In the final scene, Chapter 3, Bartlett sets up a confrontation that suggests the horrors of banned cockfights, in which roosters wearing sharp studded anklets tear each other apart in a ring. But, after confrontations and confessions, the winner may not actually be victorious.

“I didn’t know the show,” admitted Buzzeo, “but after I read it, I loved it. It’s just funny as hell. I was struck by the dialogue, it’s gut-bustlingly funny at times and yet very real.”

Director Amir Darvish also took some liberties, casting Buzzeo and Empire Stage producer David Gordon, both men in their 50s, in the lead roles. The play is performed without British accents and Darvish retained the minimal staging but chose not to use the literal ring suggesting a human cockfight. 

Fortunately for audiences in a very intimate space, there is no splash zone because the bloodiest wounds are rhetorical.

Mike Bartlett’s “Cock” will be performed Feb. 3 – 26 at Empire Stage, 1140 N. Flagler Dr. in Fort Lauderdale. Tickets are $35 at Use code EARLY to save $7.