Mormon Boy Experience

International Tour and
Off-Broadway Revival

Reviews of CONFESSIONS at a Glance

Steven Fales in Confessions of a Mormon Boy at Richmond Triangle Players.

“A brave, bold, brightly shining masterpiece."

HOUSTON CHRONICLE

  

“What a rare and skillful thing is Confessions of a Mormon Boy."

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES

 

"The stuff of great theatre."

ASSOCIATED PRESS


"A rare artistic commodity: a stand-up-comedy-infused autobiographical epic."

WASHINGTON POST 

 

"The best of the solo genre."

LOS ANGELES TIMES


"Compelling confessional theatre."

NEW YORK TIMES


"The colorful tale is told with much brio."

NEW YORK POST 


"An uncommonly powerful, gripping, and very moving piece of theatre. "

CHICAGO TRIBUNE


"Feels like a sacred gift."

BOSTON GLOBE


"A play that transcends religion, gender and sexuality."

SAN FRANCISCO EXAMINER 


"A triumph. A fascinating turn."

NEWSDAY


"A landmark play."

PHILADELPHIA GAY NEWS


"As moving as it is funny."

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS


"A quintessentially American once-upon-a-time of sexual identity crisis and selfhood.”

VILLAGE VOICE


"The story couldn't be more timely."

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE


"Shows the soul behind the smile.” 

VARIETY


"A tale about finding redemption in honesty.”

ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION


"Honest, moving, whimsical, sobering, tender and cathartic."

MIAMI HERALD 


“An absorbing tale about the universal human search for belonging ."

SALT LAKE TRIBUNE


"Breathtaking. Mormon Boy makes you want to say ‘amen’.”

SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE 


"Steven Fales is easily among the best, if not the best, solo performers in the business."

—David Clarke of BroadwayWorld.com, NewNowNext, and Out.com 


Further Reviews

'Confessions of a Mormon Boy' and Other Solo Work

"Five Stars. Steven Fales bares his chest, heart and soul. A compelling and uplifting experience."

DNA MAGAZINE, Matthew Myers (Melbourne, Australia)

 

"Four Stars. Confessions of a Mormon Boy just might be the best performance you will see in 2019 and Steven Fales will leave you feeling uplifted and hopeful about the future."

IT'S ON THE HOUSE, Cassie Cheeseman (Sydney, Australia)


“Four Stars. All told with great verve and energy and with very engaging humour. It is impossible not to warm to this man.” 

SCOTSGAY


“Brilliantly acted and beautifully written.” 

IRISH DAILY MAIL


“An incredibly smart play . . . manages to re-invest a predictable story line with boldness, insight, astute political observation and breath-takingly brittle humour and gorgeous one-liners. Confessions is a deeply-felt spiritual phenomena every bit as much as a piece of careful and well-crafted performance.” 

QUEERID.COM/DUBLIN


“Four Stars. Fales captivates his audience with a sometimes moving, often funny, and occasionally shocking odyssey from sexual denial to emotional salvation.” 

WHATSONSTAGE.COM/LONDON


“Five Stars. There’s something here that every gay man can relate to. And, my, how the boy entertains.” 

GAY TIMES MAGAZINE LONDON


“It’s impossible not to marvel.” 

SCOTSMAN


“Breathtaking. A gripping story. That it’s touching and wise too only adds to the appeal.” (Confessions)

ENTERTAINMENT-FOCUS LONDON


“As American as apple pie. It takes a healthy, open-minded approach to barrier busting. Its truth is its strong suit.” 

EXTRA EXTRA LONDON


“Four Stars. A dynamo show.” 

QX MAGAZINE LONDON


“Four Stars. A slick one-man show . . . fast, furious, and compelling . . . An undeniably dramatic story of the self-confessed ‘gayest Mormon on earth.’” 

BOYZ MAGAZINE LONDON


"Enjoy Steven Fales's extraordinary story with an honesty and truthful text that gives the audience insights into what, how and why.  It’s an energetic performance from Fales, directed by Jack Hofsiss, who uses the whole stage with a dynamism related to the place in the story.  He also changes clothes occasionally and has well timed moments of stillness and direct address.  Though the show has quite a bit of discussion around sex practices, the humour and humanity is available to the female audience equally with the many men who nod with recognition.  Fales doesn’t spare the detail … no more “Mormon modesty”, nor does he skip over his failings and hopes.  And those of the church, family and those around him are expressed with insight and big hits of pathos as we learn what the church, his family and those around him mean in his life.

He can present it all with a flash and a smile and a very nice low baritone, perfect for show tunes...until the final sequences where Fales does lose the persona and the work reaches out successfully."

SYDNEY ARTS GUIDE, Judith Greenaway


"Steven Fales's shocking true story keeps you mesmerized and in suspense. It fixates you in a roller coaster of emotions and is the 'Me Too' movement of gay Mormons." 

THEATERLIFE.COM, Barry Gordin

 

“A true story, Fales’ life is the stuff of great theatre. Fortunately, the former Mormon boy with the penchant for singing has an easy and refined stage presence, making his tale all the more riveting to watch. Fales’ story would not be as interesting or even novel without the remarkable transformation he undergoes from Utah husband and father to New York City prostitute. It’s a strangely intriguing dichotomy that Fales expertly brings to the stage; in a sense, he is reliving his own Madonna-whore complex. Were it not for Fales’ decision to divulge all the sordid details of his past in such a painfully honest way, though, the show may not have worked as well. The lingering sense of an unresolved story gives the play a depth that it may not appear to have at the outset. Fales has a buoyant personality that easily engages an audience, and director Jack Hofsiss keeps the pacing brisk and the staging lively.”

ASSOCIATED PRESS, Justin Bergman 


“Wrenchingly honest, hilariously jubilant and utterly clear-eyed, Steven Fales’ autobiographical testimony is an exceptional achievement to rank beside the best of the solo genre. We first see Fales, whose buffed physique, glossy voice and gimlet gaze are ready for Shakespeare and Sondheim . . . Fales never reviles himself or the religion he loved, nor does he let either off the hook. His narrative is richly absorbing in its immediacy. The motifs are shrewdly developed, and the climactic revelation is a hair-raising coup. You’d have to go back to Leslie Jordan and Jeff Key, or Geraldine Hughes and Julia Sweeney, to find such deeply personal material attaining so wide a reach. That accessibility distinguishes Confessions, and it’s a memorable soul-baring session.”

LOS ANGELES TIMES, David M. Nichols, Critic’s Choice 


“Fales is such a perceptive writer. An enormously appealing performer, his struggle to make his life cohere is as moving as it is funny.”

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS, Howard Kissel 


Mormon Boy rises above formula through faith. Staying away would be a mistake. An uncommonly powerful, gripping, and very moving piece of theatre. It’s far, far better than you’d guess. It’s unusually well-written and shaped. Fales is not only an actor, but also a very good one. And, onstage, he is both provocative and intensely empathetic. As with Elaine Stritch, Fales’ life simply went further to the extremes than most. And thus it’s more dramatic. Fales does not do a hatchet job on the Christian Right in general, or on the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in particular. On the contrary, he’s unafraid to reveal that his alienation from his initial identity—his spiritual core, still—is what ripped him apart. Along with some truly wrenching scenes involving issues of fatherhood and childhood vulnerability, this palpable sense of spiritual longing is what makes this show so remarkably powerful. Just as he deserves personal happiness, he also merits a professional chance at the big time, in all its glory.” 

CHICAGO TRIBUNE, Chris Jones 


“An eye for absurdity can take you a long way: The work of the engaging solo performer Steven Fales is a case in point. A keen sense of the ridiculous—displayed in telling narrative details, some droll characterizations and a wealth of verbal zingers—leavens his powerful Mormon Boy. Confessions best exemplifies Fales’s flair for writing that shifts with artful boldness between levity, bleak drama and warmth. A rare artistic commodity: a stand-up-comedy-infused autobiographical epic containing chapter after chapter of absorbing spiritual and personal crisis, sly cultural commentary and humor.”

WASHINGTON POST, Celia Wren 


“If Fales hadn’t subtitled his show ‘A True Story’, you might be tempted to think he’d made it up, because it moves so dramatically between extremes. It’s not just the subtitle, though, that underscores the truth of Fales’s story. It’s his remarkable ability to show us the extremes without getting stuck in them. He retains an astonishing generosity of spirit about both worlds. It’s rare to hear someone speak so passionately about both spiritual and physical ecstasy. Without excusing bigotry and hypocrisy on the one hand, or exploitation and deceit on the other, he still persuasively declares that good people can exist even in the most oppressive situations. That might sound a little preachy, but Fales mostly leavens his lessons with fierce comedy and sharp intelligence—which, to his credit, he directs not just against obvious targets, from a humorless church elder to a jaded pimp, but against his own self-absorption and self-deception. We laugh, both because it’s funny and because that very self-awareness is what makes the script’s occasional wanderings into solipsism or inside jokes both believable and forgivable. The show also steers clear of some potential pitfalls. The final startling, and yet utterly appropriate revelation that Fales makes onstage . . . no, he doesn’t bare his [full-frontal] body. He bares his soul. And, even if that soul is one that his church has condemned, it still feels like a sacred gift.”

BOSTON GLOBE, Louise Kennedy, Critics’ Pick


“The tale's fascinating and Fales is engaging. Excommunication may keep the boy out of the tabernacle, but it can't keep the tabernacle, spiritually speaking, out of the boy. Fales personable and sexy makes the tale easy to take, a sort of story hour for grow-up children, telling a quintessentially American once-upon-a-time of sexual identity crisis and selfhood.” (Confessions) 

VILLAGE VOICE, Michael Feingold


“What a rare and skillful thing is Confessions of a Mormon Boy, Steven Fales’ engrossing, funny, and often quite harrowing tale. Fales’ tumble from grace and his road to redemption peg him as the male counterpart of the fallen woman . . . think Joan Crawford or Bette Davis playing outcasts at their most glamorously vulnerable. He’s a male Mildred Pierce, except that it’s real life. With crackerjack direction by Broadway veteran Jack Hofsiss, Fales delivers the dramatic goods with considerable economy, crisp pacing and, in the end, a simple gesture of self-revelation that’s as effective a coup de theatre as you’ll find in a dozen shows jam-packed with special effects. Best of all, we don’t see Fales’ ultimate moment of catharsis coming; it hits us between the eyes like a shot with a two-by-four. Fales is such a good mimic, capable of vivid and hilarious impersonations. Fales has lived a stunningly eventful, almost Dickensian life, and he is, by happy coincidence, a fine writer and actor. Let him make the most of it.”

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, Kevin Nance


“A story that must be told! One of the best new plays . . . seen in a very long time. Fales is an endearing performer, a masterful storyteller, and one hell of a writer. Throughout the play, his belief in god and his desire to be ‘good’ make him an extremely compelling hero. Evocative detail, humor and moments of spellbinding drama . . . great theatre . . . sexy and harrowing. A play that transcends religion, gender and sexuality. Anyone who has ever lived a life they thought they should live, as opposed to the life they were meant to live, needs to see this show.”

SAN FRANCISCO EXAMINER


“Compelling confessional theatre. Fales knows how to sell it.” (Confessions)

NEW YORK TIMES


“Captivating. Intriguing. Fascinating.”

NY1 ON STAGE, Patrick Pacheco


“Fales’ one-man show manages to inject some freshness to the genre. Performed by its fresh-faced author with an enthusiasm and energy that makes his self-comparisons with Donny Osmond seem apt. This colorful tale is related with much brio by Fales, who strips himself bare, both emotionally and physically. He’s an engaging performer who’s crafted his piece with an audience-pleasing sensibility. Fales’ journey may have been a difficult one, but it sure makes for some great material.” (Confessions)

NEW YORK POST


“Just when you thought the gay coming-out tale had exhausted itself, Steven Fales’ solo show gives it a twist with the perspective of a Brokeback Mormon. Fales is eminently likable and can be winning in his considerable force of charm. The show gets a blast of lyricism with his account of a dream that had him galloping on horseback over the Western land along with his male ancestors . . . that shows the soul behind the smile.” 

VARIETY


“Fales’ play is a gripping hybrid of memoir and theatre. Confessions could have been maudlin and self-pitying but Fales sees the black comedy of his predicament and also allows us to share the rage he felt at the Catch-22 of being ‘excommunicated for something the Church said didn’t exist.’ It succeeds as non-fiction theatre thanks to the writing and acting talent of a true survivor.”

CONNECTICUT POST, Joe Meyers


“A triumph. What elevates this autobiographical one-man show to the next level is that it probes deeper. Appealing from the beginning: a good-looking, well-built man with the smooth voice of a trained actor, which he is. There’s a lot of ground to cover. Fales and director Jack Hofsiss keep things bouncing along quickly. Dramatic moments start to fly by. That is part of his point. Mormonism, he explains, teaches its followers to smile and press on despite the underlying pain and Fales takes an analogous approach here. His intentions become clearer at the play’s jolting climax, when the story takes a fascinating turn just as it is starting to drag. Fales knows that the conflict in his life isn’t just homosexuality versus Mormonism. As in all good theater, the protagonist must confront his own shortcomings and overcome them.”

NEWSDAY, Zachary Pincus-Roth


“Intriguing, affecting, and enlightening. The story couldn’t be more timely.  Fales is undeniably charming, his boyish good looks easily metamorphosing from clean-cut exuberance to flirty suggestiveness. He can sing . . . pleasantly crooning a Portuguese prayer or one of his own country ballads. He can dance. And he narrates his tale with comfortable ease and well-honed comic timing. ”

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, Robert Hurwitt


“Unflinchingly honest . . . wistfully comic . . . a compelling play. In many respects, it feels like a sequel to Good-bye, I Love You, from the husband’s perspective and a generation removed. Fales is a fine singer and an engaging actor. He bursts with creative enthusiasm. [An] enormous achievement . . . the way he performs his Confessions proves to be a therapeutic and unflinchingly honest experience.” (2001)

SALT LAKE TRIBUNE


“An absorbing tale about the universal human search for belonging. Gay or not, Mormon or not, it is something we can all relate to.” (2004)

SALT LAKE TRIBUNE


“Swings from poignant to harrowing. Compelling. The strapping Fales, who wrote the 90-minute one-hander, is an engaging actor-singer with a mega-smile. It is that smile, actually, that acts as a metaphor for his travails. In the evening’s most shocking moment, he literally and figuratively removes an impediment to his true self. Fales is charming, telling his tale with humor and stamina. Under Jack Hofsiss’ energetic direction, the evening has a definite dramatic arc.”

BACKSTAGE, David A. Rosenberg


“More than anything Steven Fales is a storyteller. Fales is asking a lot of his audience to attend three consecutive nights or spend an entire Saturday for a marathon, but it’s worth it. Each of the three solo performances of Mormon Boy Trilogy is revelatory, exposing not only Fales’ own fascinating life, but mysteries of the Mormon Church as well. Using the same setting each night — a modest wooden chair and a small table, and on some nights a coat rack — Fales bares his soul and his body. Projections of photographs from Fales’ life and auxiliary images to enhance his anecdotes have been incorporated into all three performances.” (2014)

RICHMOND TIMES-DISPATCH


“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.”

GAYRVA.COM


“Fales boasts a kick-ass tenor voice, a charming stage presence, sharp wit, irreverent sense of humor, and a beaming smile that makes Fales a favorite!” (Mormon American Princess)

BACKSTAGE WEST


“Fales possesses a beautiful lyric tenor, perfectly suited to his very theatrical delivery. The musical numbers matched his narrative with great dramatic effect. A confident self-realized cabaret performer.” (MAP)

CABARET SCENES MAGAZINE


“Stevens voice commands and dominates—flawless and engaging. His stage presence and delivery transcend the self-centered pleadings. The humor in his compositions is clever and incisive.” (Mormon American Princess)

SAN FRANCISCO BAY TIMES


“Steven Fales is a dream come true for gay rights advocates: provocative in his work, articulate and humorous onstage, and appealingly handsome in person. Mormon American Princess is a crowning moment.” 

EDGE.COM


“Showtime, Broadway, and HBO all rolled up into one great big evening of song and laughter. MAP is exuberant and supremely entertaining.” (Mormon American Princess) 

BEYONDCHRON.ORG


“His willingness to literally strip away his own defenses will leave you breathless.” (Confessions)

METRO NEW YORK


“Theatrically, comically and emotionally, this show reaches heights that most off-Broadway productions could only hope to achieve. You will walk out of the theater feeling completely and utterly satisfied.”

COLUMBIA DAILY SPECTATOR


“At once provocative and uplifting. Fales may be a social provocateur, but his ultimate concern is healing. Fales is a superb technician who does skillful impersonations of the various characters he encounters along his journey. Unlike Leslie Jordan, Fales is not an outrageous comic show-off. He’s more ironic, though. He’s beefier. And he has a few surprises about courage that will endear him to audience members. By the end of his unflinching self-examination, Fales has gained his family’s forgiveness, reclaimed his gift as an actor and found peace with his role as a dad. This is a tale about finding redemption in honesty.” (Confessions)

ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION, Wendell Brock, Recommended


“The play is alternately funny and sad—and at its best moments, both a self-examination about accepting responsibility.” (Confessions)

THE ADVOCATE


“A very funny, poignant and surprising story of self-acceptance and the happiness in finding spiritual connections.” (Confessions)

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL


“Recommended.”

AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN


“While he tells his story with the style and flair of a performer trained in musical theatre, at no point in watching his show did I feel Fales was insincere. Theatrical, yes, but at base this show is quite literally a confession. Fales wants to be forgiven for committing a sin. Not for the “sin” of homosexuality, though. Fales wants to be forgiven for the sin of denying his innermost self. Now I ask you: Which of us would do the same? Which of us would use our lives as fodder for a theatrical presentation in which, if we are to fulfill the highest purpose of our art—to instruct as well as to entertain—we are required to reveal the most intimate details about ourselves, and not just figuratively, but literally as well? There are numerous moments of revelation here. One involves Fales stripping to his underwear, and lemme tell ya, he’s very easy on the eyes. Another involves Fales literally stripping away part of his anatomy, and that moment was beyond surprising and moving; it was stunning. Steven Fales is as brave and courageous as anyone I have ever encountered. Steven Fales deserves our attention because, unlike so many of those who claim to be our leaders, he tells us the truth. Steven Fales is a hero.”

AUSTIN CHRONICLE, Barry Pineo


“For all its real pain, Mormon Boy delivers humor, poignancy, and considerable charm. It’s a gem—funny, sad and illuminated by Fales’ love for his children, his deep respect for Emily and his understanding of his motives and actions. It all leads up to a moment of vulnerability so simple and powerful it suggests a kind of grace. All is forgiven with his final breathtaking, self-revelatory gesture. Fales describes his work as ‘ultimately a prayer’, and at that moment, Mormon Boy makes you want to say ‘amen’.”

SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, Janice Steinberg, Critic’s Choice


“Fales is taking audiences with him on [a] pendulum swing, from uncomfortable piety to uncontrolled sensuality, and finally to the stillness and peace of finding his authentic self. Tony Award-winning director Jack Hofsiss has helped sculpt the piece into something that’s honest, moving, whimsical, sobering, tender and cathartic. [Fales] morphs from innocent Mormon dad in a BYU T-shirt into a hard-bodied hottie in black bikini briefs. Neither look, as it turns out, really suits him. What works for him is something he finds only after exposing his soul and revealing his truths: He is, at last, comfortable in his own skin.” (Confessions)

MIAMI HERALD


“Fales switches The Smile on and off throughout Confessions. In the first half, The Smile is as flat and artificial as the false-front Main Street at Disney World. For most of the second half, The Smile almost manic, barely masking the panic. And in the cathartic finale The Smile loses its broad toothiness, relaxing into a reflection of inner peace. The Smile charts Fales’ internal Pilgrim’s Progress from devout Mormon missionary to in-the-closet family man to self-destructive Manhattan prostitute to a human being finally comfortable in his own skin. [The play] builds in power until it crests in a warm and satisfying wave that lifts theatergoers to their feet . . . generously sprinkled with witty one-liners. As he comes to peace with himself, Fales provides a simple but startling coup de theatre to signal the emergence of the real human . . . his play shoots skyward in dramatic content and emotional payoff. In the end, Confessions is not about coping with a repressive world, but about getting past personal baggage and loving yourself.” 

SOUTH FLORIDA SUN-SENTINEL


“Mormon Boy is a stunning example of a true emotional journey that is powerful from start to finish.” 

EXAMINER.COM/DENVER


“Through this shameless confession, he adorns himself with the powers of self-recognition. In my world, Steven Fales is a super hero in the gay justice league.” 

MILEHIGHGUY.COM


“Brave, bold, brightly shining masterpiece. One of the most transparent real life plays I have ever experienced. Unforgettable.” (Confessions)

HOUSTON CHRONICLE


“It is the truth-telling that provides the punch and holds the audience in thrall. A talented performer recounts with charm and power a gripping narrative . . . an emotional, amusing and roller-coaster theatrical ride.” (Confessions)

HOUSTON PRESS


“A remarkable piece of theatre. Fales shines. An extremely appealing actor and singer—bold, confrontational, understanding, compassionate. He does not pity himself in the telling of his story. He is funny, winning, shockingly honest, moving and entirely believable. Confessions is about as intense an experience as you will get in the theatre.” (Confessions)

THE CHRONICLE HERALD, Halifax


“A polished piece of theatre that knows what notes to hit, but there’s a human heart beneath the slick showbiz veneer. Fales is a whiz-bang actor. His script is gracious to the church that excommunicated him, lampooning spiritual hypocrisy without apparent malice.” (Confessions)

THE COAST, Halifax


“Fales walks a fine line between satire and truth and ultimately generates a skillful and compelling balance between one-line zingers . . . and life-affirming revelation. It is a testimony to Fales’ skill as a storyteller as well as his ability to find humor in the often painful human condition that holds his audience for 90 uninterrupted minutes.” (Confessions) 

RICHMOND TIMES-DISPATCH


“Fales is a rare and gifted storyteller who cradles his audience with his words. Even when he is talking about areas of his life that would cause the strongest person to crumble and rail against the world, he brings a smile, holds no grudge, and looks for the divine in his life.” (Confessions)

RICHMOND NPR


“Confessions is the most polished production in the trilogy, and the one that best exemplifies Fales’s flair for writing that shifts with artful boldness between levity, bleak drama and warmth. Moving animatedly around the chair that’s the principal set element, and occasionally backed by projections (personal photos, stunning shots of Utah scenery, etc.), the actor tells his story. One minute, he’s recounting his encounters with conversion therapy — spoofing the hair-swishing gestures and sing-song intonations of a specialist who blames his same-sex attraction on trauma experienced in past lives. Then he’s recalling how, in a bid for “heterosexual wholeness,” he started “listening to Garth Brooks and George Strait instead of Ricky Martin or ‘Bernadette Peters at Carnegie Hall.’ ” Then he’s describing the chill bureaucracy of his excommunication, an event followed by his divorce from his wife, another sixth-generation Mormon.” (Confessions) 

WASHINGTON POST


“A gifted writer-performer . . . his witty banter and skill as a likable storyteller are consistently engaging. Fales exudes a disarming sense of spontaneity, which draws audiences into this dramatization of his soul-searching journey. His still-youthful energy and demeanor are as sharp as they were in the earlier runs. Viewing Fales still so fully in his element several years after my first introduction to his play series proves that the thoughts one hears about the values of wisdom and experience ring resoundingly true. He continues to come across as likable, relaxed, wise, talented, and confident, and the continuing relevance of his work feels even richer than before.” (Confessions)

EDGELOSANGELES.COM/2015


“A talented, winning, engaging performer with sharp comic timing commands the Zephyr Theater stage. Quick on his witty ad libs he has the audience eating out of his hands. Fales big reveal near the end stuns! You never see it coming. Good for You, Steven Fales!” (Confessions)

BROADWAYWORLD.COM/LOSANGELES, 2015


“It’s quite an achievement to showcase an ego that is larger than Carol Channing’s in such a small room.” (Mormon American Princess)

Goldstar Audience Review (Five Stars)


Missionary Position feels right in tune with Obama’s Era of Accountability. It has minimal sex but plenty of seduction. The boyish Fales is certainly engaging; you can see how his Pepsodent smile won converts by the dozen . . . But something truly subversive happens when he dons genuine Mormon temple garments and starts spilling ritual secrets . . . Whatever deity you pray to, Missionary Position asks a valid question: What is the true care of a soul?”

LOS ANGELES TIMES


“While questioning Mormon doctrine on sexuality, he feels genuine warmth toward the people of the faith. Fales mixes earnest confession, witty commentary and a number of playful sketches of people he has met on his life journey . . . his performance is polished. He is engaging as the Mormon with a toothy Donny Osmond smile and sparkling eyes as he is as the low-keyed genuine individual he becomes at the play’s end.” (Confessions)

THE OREGONIAN


“There is an old axiom that says ‘confession is good for the soul’ and Steven Fales most certainly bares his soul in his intermissionless monologue. The audience witnesses sarcastic humor, songs, and a soulful monologue. He’s an accomplished actor and singer and he looks like the all-American boy next door. He has a lovely voice when singing a Portuguese prayer and one of his own country ballads about Utah. He is engaging.”

TALKINBROADWAY.COM


“[A] self-revelatory one-man show . . . based on Fales own highly distinctive life journey. In Confessions, the cataclysmic event is Fales’ excommunication by his local ‘Court of Love,’ having his name blotted off ‘the rolls of Heaven,’ and the conclusive disintegration of his, on the surface, ‘perfect’ Mormon marriage. With easygoing humor—and not a little of that in-your-face upbeatness seemingly inculcated into Mormons’ very cores—Fales recounts the story of a youth and manhood struggling against his anathematic same-sex attraction, including all manner of ‘reparative therapy.’ Fales himself upped the ante exponentially, pressure-wise, by marrying into ‘Mormon royalty’—his ex-wife is the daughter of Mormondom’s leading literary light, Carol Lynn Pearson, whose husband (the plot thickens excruciatingly for Fales in terms of the pain potential for his wife and two children) was also Gay and died of AIDS. His life a shambles of guilt and crushing financial debt, stripped of his ‘magic Mormon underwear,’ Fales moves to New York and the frenzied, club-hopping life of a highly paid male prostitute. Weary at last of living ‘trick to trick’, Fales conceived of Confessions as a way out, so to speak, so that the play, ironically, might well be subtitled Going Straight (After All, Sort Of). Good luck in New York, Steven.”

SUN POST


“Fales switches The Smile on and off throughout Confessions. In the first half, The Smile is as flat and artificial as the false-front Main Street at Disney World. For most of the second half, The Smile almost manic, barely masking the panic. And in the cathartic finale The Smile loses its broad toothiness, relaxing into a reflection of inner peace. The Smile charts Fales’ internal Pilgrim’s Progress from devout Mormon missionary to in-the-closet family man to self-destructive Manhattan prostitute to a human being finally comfortable in his own skin. [The play] builds in power until it crests in a warm and satisfying wave that lifts theatergoers to their feet . . . generously sprinkled with witty one-liners. As he comes to peace with himself, Fales provides a simple but startling coup de theatre to signal the emergence of the real human . . . his play shoots skyward in dramatic content and emotional payoff. In the end, Confessions is not about coping with a repressive world, but about getting past personal baggage and loving yourself.”

SOUTH FLORIDA SUN-SENTINEL


“Frank, entertaining . . . What sets this solo performance apart from other coming-out stories is Mormonism, an implausible, mysterious and ominous religion to outsiders, which Fales portrays alternately with affection and contempt. When Fales sings live, he reveals a fine voice in several songs, including a self-penned paean to Utah that is sappily uplifting until he douses it with a verbal bucket of cold water. These clever reversals, creating expectations that he upends, add facets to a story that is on its way to becoming a small gem.”

BAY AREA REPORTER


“Fales drew a well-deserved standing ovation after more than ninety minutes of scorching humor, song and soul baring monologue. Fales brilliantly portrays the depths of human complexity of which we all are made. His play is more than a mere confession, it is a testimony, a witnessing of ignorance and intolerance . . . more than an important educational affirmation for emergent queer youth; it is a poignant part of the GLBT history. The segue from indescribably tragic personal agony to commentary eliciting tittering humor is what makes this play so cleverly brilliant. The details of his experience are what comprise the profound gestalt of his performance. His courage is inspiring. One can identify with so much of what he tells, whether one is a Mormon, a Jew, a Catholic, a Muslim, or a Hindu.”  

KUEERKULTUR.COM

(Steven’s first NYC review in 2002 by legendary drag queen Ruby Lips, Ruben Lipshitz)


“A landmark play.” (Confessions)

PHILADELPHIA GAY NEWS


“Fales charismatic recreation of his remarkable life journey is as entertaining as it is enlightening. Those who have become turned off to solo vehicles after seeing a few too many showcases that are nothing more than mediocre standup comedy routines or self-indulgent monologues filled with boring anecdotes would be well-advised to check out Fales’ award-winning off-Broadway hit. This prodigious theater craftsman keeps us spellbound for 90 lighting-paced minutes, seamlessly integrating hilarity and poignancy in an inspirational tale of moving beyond the Peter Pan syndrome to discover a sense of self-worth and purpose in life. There are surprises aplenty in Fales’ script. His tale unfolds with the energy of a juicy potboiler, but is continually brought back to reality with his utmost sincerity and candor. A consummate actor, he segues among various character voices masterfully, and artfully weaves his experiences into a credible and compelling tapestry. He also exudes great sex appeal, and his wit and charm suggest this breakthrough vehicle is a mere harbinger of great things to come. Though this is a must-see production for gay audiences, crossover appeal is evident. The box office lines will soon be extending several blocks along Santa Monica Boulevard.”

IN MAGAZINE, Los Angeles, Les Spindle


“GO! In a sense, this show is the story of Fales’ smile as its meaning evolves from a wholesome rictus to stiff upper lip to mask of denial. Fales is an attractive and engaging personality who wins us over with charm instead of ingratiating gestures. He’s boyish without appearing naïve, mischievous without being cynical. In his opening moments, you never know which way Fales is going to go with his story. Watching Mormon Boy, we find it impossible to imagine another actor taking over the role, in the same way a new production of Swimming to Cambodia would be inconceivable without its late author, Spaulding Gray: Not only is the material deeply personal, but so is the performance. Ultimately, Fales probably has too much material for one performance and, not surprisingly, is said to be working on a new show. If nothing else, this should demonstrate that there are second acts in Mormonism.”

LA WEEKLY, Steven Mikulan


“In the vibrant one-man show Fales diminishes a sense of exploitation by choosing humor and song over self-pity to tell the story . . . juicy, hilarious and often disarmingly poignant.”

L MAGAZINE, Eva Sandoval

image1