Sunday, June 03, 2007

Speaking In Tongue...

Last night a friend and I ventured over the hill into North Hollywood to catch the opening night of a one-man show called "Almost Walking A Straight Line" at the Secret Rose Theatre. It's written and performed by the talented Greg Haskins.

Back in the day when I was a theatre critic I sat through numerous one-person shows that ran the gambit from wretched to mediocre to outstanding, with very few achieving outstanding status. I remember one particular show (somewhere between wretched and mediocre) where there were eleven people in the audience: ten friends of the performer and me, the newspaper critic. After every song the friends would slowly look my way to gauge my reaction. Their applause was forced and their whispered praises were loud enough so I could hear. It was not a good theatre experience.

Luckily "Almost Walking A Straight Line" has wonderful moments with some crisp writing. It's Haskins' story of growing up in an overly zealous Charismatic Catholic family in the mid-west and his struggle with being gay, Catholic, and feeling trapped within the confines of religion.

He spent years praying and participating in various religious therapies that were promising to set him straight. (Sounds a bit like Scientology and certain gay celebrities, doesn't it?) Did he succeed? Hell no.

Haskins' recollections make for some very comical moments, especially his attempts at speaking in tongues.

I thoroughly enjoyed the show and like all good theater, it got me all excited to get up off my lazy ass more often and to go to more shows. And I plan on doing just that.

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