Confession of an Atheist Girl: I can never help but feel a little grimy when taking in autobiographical stories, especially if they involve misery. Knowing that somebody suffered for my entertainment... there’s something vaguely New Testament about that. In the vibrant one-man show, Confessions of a Mormon Boy, however, Steven Fales — a self-described “Mormon-American Princess” — diminishes that sense of exploitation by choosing humor and song over self pity to tell the story of his struggle with “Same Sex Attraction,” excommunication from his beloved Mormon church, his “gay adolescence” and, ultimately, reclaiming his smile. And what an electric smile it is, rivaled perhaps only by the smiles of Fales’s boyfriends, for which he saucily credits his Greek great-grandfather. As for that, the audience can vouch; Fales not only takes off the gloves when telling his tale but his pants as well (impressive. Smile away, boys!).
Created by Fales to help his children understand his life (though I am unsure how they will benefit from witnessing their father gleefully pantomime sexual acrobatics), Confessions of a Mormon Boy is juicy, hilarious and often disarmingly poignant. I was struck, however, by his detachment when recounting his pre-New York gigolo years, even when discussing his marriage or numerous failed attempts at “sex reparative therapy.” A different time, a different face; today’s Steven Fales is free to make clear just how much of a fictional character his closeted self was, no confessions necessary.