Mormon Boy Trilogy Marathon Leaves Us Blown Away
f you don’t have plans for this weekend… I’m about to help you make them. This weekend will mark the final performances of Steven Fales’s trilogy of one man shows, the Mormon Boy Trilogy.
Several weeks ago I wrote my review of Part One: Confessions of a Mormon Boy, but this past week I was fortunate enough to see all three plays in one day… And it changed my life.
Any time you see a show more than once you are most likely bound to pick up on nuances and acting choices and snarky one liners more often, but I felt like I was more impressed with how my emotional connection with the actor seemed to be exponentially compounded. If you get a chance to meet this man and shake his hand… You’re going to see what a truly beautiful human being looks like.
He is somehow capable of brutally exposing his mind, body, and soul for four nights a week in 7 performances, and Richmond has one last chance to bear witness.
Jumping into Part Two: Missionary Position is like the first time you REALLY hang out with the person who winds up being your best friend. You start with funny stories and then eventually your knee deep in the emotional scars and the semi-tragic events that helped shape your personality. You make those confessions that you’ve been dying to say out loud, and are absolutely flabbergasted when they look you dead in the eye and say “me too!”
If I were to be forced to sum up Missionary in one sentence… It may read: A relaxed expedition through the trials and tribulations of a boy trying not to masturbate long enough to make it to the altar.
There’s more revealing, scholastic information in this play. Not that it is exposing anything seedy or dark, but you get to look behind the curtain so to speak, inside the Mormon Church. Of course there are absolutely hysterical references to the origin of the religion, and the fervent growth it has experienced over the last fifty years.
One of the biggest laughs of the entire show was when Steven refers to Joseph Smith as a “bipolar megalomaniac who stole all of his good ideas from the Free Masons.”
In all it is an informative and endearing journey with a young man struggling with his self-awareness.
Prodigal Dad is the final installment of the trilogy, and is by far the most emotionally gripping. It is a movement of confessions. A ferocious account of tragedy and honest convictions. I wrote down a surreal and odd run on sentence while I was sitting in the audience before the second act: Conviction through an affliction seeking the means to end the Mother of all Sins of the Father/God Complex. An examination of the demons that breed damage behind all closed doors.
Prodigal literally means wastefully or recklessly extravagant. And somehow fittingly, this show has the least going on in terms of theatrical production value. The lighting is sublime and is strongly suited to enhance every second of this play. Including brooding moments, and fits of childlike impudence.
There was a moment toward the end when Fales is being refreshingly honest about his “pro-gay for pay” ex-mother in law, and I couldn’t get a scene from “The Ref” out of my head; Kevin Spacey is looking at his mother and says, “you know what I’m gonna get you next year, Mom? A biiiiiig wooden cross, so every time you feel sorry for yourself and all your sacrifices…. You can climb on up and nail yourself to it!”
All three of these shows are masterfully crafted and executed, and Steven Fales is truly a force to be reckoned with in this vast world of theater. Allow him to affect your life with his story, and you’ll realize how much all of our stories matter. Refuse to be an ostrich, and show him he isn’t an orphan. Send him on his journey to New York with even more love from our great city.
This is your last chance to see Mormon Boy in RVA – pick up tickets here through the Richmond Triangle Players website – http://www.rtriangle.org/
Xtina Fitch is the Founder, Director, and Choreographer of XF Company of Dance. She studied Engineering and Mathematics at N.C. State University. She has been teaching dance professionally and Bar-tending in RVA for more than a decade, and is thrilled to join the GayRVA team!
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