Confessions of a Mormon Boy | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

Confessions of a Mormon Boy 

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Writer-performer Steven Fales has an extraordinary story to tell. Born gay and Mormon, he married, had kids, and underwent "reparative therapy" in an effort to go straight. Finally he gave up, suffered through divorce and excommunication, and descended into a vortex of drug addiction and self-destruction as a sex worker in New York City. But despite this potent material, the first half of Fales's autobiographical monologue lacks personalizing detail and well-rounded characters; Mormonism is presented as little beyond antiseptic smiles and intolerance, and his Mormon therapist is just shy of the Church Lady. In the second half his self-absorption increases: no one's crises but his merit detailed description, including his children's experience of divorce, and with melodramatic flair he relives every painful memory. Under Broadway veteran Jack Hofsiss's slack direction, this likable performer displays more (admitted) narcissism than genuine candor. Through 1/30: Wed-Thu 8 PM, Fri 9:30 PM, Sat 6 PM, Sun 3 PM. Bailiwick Repertory, Bailiwick Arts Center, 1229 W. Belmont, 773-883-1090. $25-$30.

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