One-man show takes interesting ‘Position’
When we last met up in April with the young Steven Fales, he was performing his one-man show “Confessions of a Mormon Boy.” It was a funny and poignant tale about a long journey toward self-acceptance.
This weekend, the actor is back at the Onyx with the second of a three-part series called “Missionary Position.” The script doesn’t have the sweep and power of the first. It’s more like a string of oneliners that poke fun at — predictably — the hypocrisy surrounding the naive man/boy. But the one-liners are awfully good, and the show has enough moments of depth to keep you thinking in-between laughs.
Fales has a gimmick that I’m not sure works in context of this material. In his previous show, he talked at length about his days as a male hustler. So it made sense that he dressed like one, and that his print advertising teased the viewer with a bit of carefully sculptured flesh. This time out, the peek-a-boo ads and the jeans with the carefully placed holes and the nudity seem designed as nothing more than a corporate approach to get gay men’s butts in seats.
If that’s what Fales feels he needs to do to sell, it’s unfortunate, because he’s a first-rate actor. When he speaks of how spiritually lost he felt as he attempted to bring spirituality to others, you feel his pain. His “character” is a good man who doesn’t know how to be good.
The show begins with just the right sort of scaled-down tone. As people are still entering the theater, Fales appears in street clothes at the side door hauling what seems to be a huge, heavy trunk. When he finally makes it to centerstage, it’s clear we’re going to spend the evening having what feels like a casual, living-room conversation with a likable guy sharing his memories.
Fales’ lack of fanfare puts us in the