One-man show takes in­ter­est­ing ‘Po­si­tion’

Las Vegas Review-Journal - - ENTERTAINMENT - By AN­THONY DEL VALLE

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

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