Tuesday, February 2, 2016
My Mormon Valentine Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Contact: Daisy Blake Perry (801) 604-7845
Solo Salt Lake presents
Steven Fales’ one-man comedy
MY MORMON VALENTINE
The Original Utah Version of Confessions of a Mormon Boy
(featuring Heavenly Mother and Jimmy Flinders in the Pre-Existence
and St. Peter in the Celestial Kingdom)
Feb. 11 — March 5
at The Leonardo
“Fales knows how to sell it.”—New York Times
“A fine actor and writer.”—Chicago Sun-Times
“A masterful storyteller and one hell of a writer.”—San Francisco Examiner
“Steven Fales is easily among the best, if not the best, solo performers in the business."
Solo Salt Lake is proud to present internationally acclaimed solo performance artist Steven Fales in the return of his solo comedy MY MORMON VALENTINE: The Original Utah Version of Confessions of a Mormon Boy (which hasn’t been performed in fifteen years) Feb. 11 – March 5 with show times at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. at the 200-seat Leonardo Museum Theater located at 209 E. 500 South, Salt Lake City 84111 (next to the Downtown Salt Lake Library). Tickets start at $10 with discounts and group rates available online at http://mormonboylive.brownpapertickets.com or 1-800-838-3006 and at the door. More information at facebook.com/mormonboylive; Twitter @mormonboy; and Instagram @stevenfalesonline.
Please note the special performance benefiting the Utah Pride Center Sat., Feb. 20 @7 p.m.
Thurs., Feb. 11 @7 p.m. PREVIEW ($10)
Fri., Feb. 12 @7 p.m. OPENING NIGHT (reception to follow)
Sat., Feb. 13 @7 p.m. Sun., Feb. 14 @3 p.m. VALENTINE’S DAY SPECIAL (2-for-1 “Bring your Mormon Boy” discount)
Sat., Feb. 20 @7 p.m. BENEFIT Utah Pride Center (VIP $50 w/catered reception)
Sat., Feb. 27 @3 & 7 FILMING (Bring your ticket stub to get in for free to both shows)
Mon., Mar 1 @7 p.m. FAMILY NIGHT w/talk back afterward (Pay-what-you-can-but-please-pay- something)
Sat., March 5 @7 p.m. CLOSING NIGHT
IndieGoGo crowd-funding campaign for filming will begin Feb 15th.
Steven Fales’ original solo “comic valentine” to Mormonism and his kids, MY MORMON VALENTINE: The Original Utah Versions of Confessions of a Mormon Boy is peppered with all kinds of delicious Utah/Mormon in-humor and takes place somewhere in Mormon Eternity after Judgment Day. Dressed in a telestial holocaust pinstriped jailbird jumpsuit with a pink triangle on his back, Fales escapes from Mormon Outer Darkness to find himself trying to get St. Peter (the token Catholic in Mormon Heaven) to let pass through the Pearly Gates. When his name isn’t on the list for Heavenly Mother’s Celestial Tea Party all heck breaks loose. Will Steven make it into the Celestial Kingdom to see his kids? Will he ever get to marry “Jimmy Flinders”? Who else does he find waiting for him on the other side of the Celestial Red Carpet?
My Mormon Valentine: The Original Utah Version of Confessions of a Mormon Boy first started as a stand-up routine at Caroline's on Broadway and then a reading at the 2001 Sunstone Symposium simply titled Confessions of a Mormon Boy. The world premiere was at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center over Thanksgiving Weekend 2001. It has never been performed since. Recently dusted off, it has now been re-titled My Mormon Valentine to distinguish it from his wildly successful off-Broadway version Confessions of a Mormon Boy now titled XXX’d.
To read an excerpt from My Mormon Valentine go to Steven’s blog When All Else Fales : http://stevenfales.blogspot.com/2016/02/the-pre-existence-from-my-mormon.html
For more press photos: http://stevenfales.blogspot.com/2016/02/my-mormon-valentine-press-photos.html
More about MY MORMON VALENTINE: The Original Utah Version of Confessions of a Mormon Boy
Now re-titled, updated and improved, MY MORMON VALENTINE was originally written within a year of his divorce and excommunication from the LDS Church Summer 2000. The original Sunstone/Utah version of what was simply called Confessions of a Mormon Boy began as standup routine at Caroline’s on Broadway and then a reading at the Sunstone Symposium Aug. 2001 with ex-wife Emily Pearson leading the standing ovation. That Sunstone version of Confessions of a Mormon Boy (now titled MY MORMON VALENTINE to distinguish itself from the later off-Broadway version) went on to have its world premiere at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center Black Box Theatre Nov. 2001 where it became a local sold-out sensation with an extra performance added due to local counter-culture support and the unofficial endorsement of Affirmation: LGBTQ Mormons. It was published in Sunstone Magazine under Dan Witherspoon (Dec. 2003). Now updated and performed for the first time in 15 years this Sunstone/Utah version is still “PG-13” with no swearing or nudity.
This run will transfer to Off The Cuff Theater in Cedar City, Utah later this summer coinciding with the Utah Shakespeare Festival in which Steven Fales once starred in The Boy Friend and other productions.
“This was my first attempt to help end spiritual abuse and religious violence in our churches, mosques and synagogues,” said Fales. “I was astonished at the emails of support that poured in during and after the run. I seemed to be onto something as I struck a universal chord so I kept going. There was this real need to talk about these themes in the play.”
The Salt Lake Tribune called that Sunstone/Utah version “Wistfully comic . . . a compelling play. It feels like a sequel to Good-bye, I Love You (Carol Lynn Pearson’s bestselling memoir) from the husband’s perspective and a generation removed. An enormous achievement, the way he performs his Confessions proves to be a therapeutic and unflinchingly honest experience.”
Ivan Lincoln of the Deseret News declining to review this or subsequent versions of the play citing ecclesiastical and personal reasons shared in an email to the playwright.
Fales explains his reasoning behind bringing this version back. “This valley and the Utah Gay Establishment is getting too self-significant and is wallowing in a dangerous cycle of victim mentality. The antidote is humor! I’ll be transforming the Leonardo Theater into the Celestial Kingdom as I turn Mormon Eternity upside down and serve it back with all the generosity-of-spirit an excommunicated Latter-day Saint can muster. Do we really believe eternity could possibly look like this? I like to say I may no longer be a Latter-day Saint but something about me will always be Mormon. That starts with good old-fashioned hokey Mormon humor! This will always be my favorite version and I feel like Salt Lake City, the epicenter of Mormondom, needs this more campier, wholesome version now more than ever. I know I sure-as-heck do!” Steven recently relocated to Utah to base his personal life where his two children are in college and to export his “Oxy-Mormon” work from Salt Lake City.
That old Sunstone/Utah version of Confessions of a Mormon Boy later underwent significant re-writes for “gentile” audiences when he took it back to New York and eliminated all the Utah in-humor—including Heavenly Mother and the Pre-existence. That version, directed by Tony Award Winner Jack Hofsiss (The Elephant Man) became more R-rated due to the serious grittier urban content that was added: drug experimentation and human trafficking. It went on to be developed for a 10-week run at the Coconut Grove Playhouse in Miami in 2003 and became a break-out hit of the 2004 New York International Fringe Festival (Overall Excellence Award) before its official landmark commercial off-Broadway run at the SoHo Playhouse 2006 (Outer Critics Circle Award Nomination) opening the door for future shows about Mormonism and including The Book of Mormon on Broadway (consider South Park’s similar marketing and themes).
Confessions of a Mormon Boy (off-Broadway version) has toured extensively across the country and internationally including the Dublin International Gay Theatre Festival (Oscar Wilde Award Nomination), Atlantic Fringe Festival in Halifax (Overall Fringe Hit Award); Edinburgh Fringe Festival and a month-long engagement at the Charing Cross Theater in London’s West End with John Leguizamo's Ghetto Klown following Fales' run.
Confessions of a Mormon Boy is perhaps the most successful non-celebrity driven autobiographical solo play to ever premiere in Utah—having grossed over one million dollars at the small theater box office while garnering awards and critical acclaim from major national newspapers from the Associated Press, “the stuff of great theatre” to Chris Jones of the Chicago Tribune, “uncommonly powerful” (Critic’s Choice) to Louise Kennedy of the Boston Globe , “feels like a sacred gift” (Critic’s Choice) to Frank Rizzo of Variety, “Brokeback Mormon” to the late Howard Kissel of the NY Daily News, “Fales is such a perceptive writer”. Last spring he had his fourth run in Los Angeles at the Zephyr Theatre , “The best of the solo genre.”--LA Times (Critic’s Choice) and most recently performed at the Interfaith Peace Chapel at the Cathedral of Hope in Dallas Nov 2015.
Steven Fales’ first book Confessions of a Mormon Boy: Behind the Scenes of the Off-Broadway Hit (Alyson, 2006) was a 2007 Lambda Literary Award Finalist. It is available on Amazon.com as is his storytelling album “Confessions of a Mormon Boy (Live from London)” (5-stars BroadwayWorld.com) also on iTunes. Steven is featured in the book The Creative Life by Julia Cameron (The Artist’s Way), anthologized in Latter Gay Saints, and wrote a monthly advice column “Ask Mormon Boy” for The Pillar. His blog is called When All Else Fales. Steven is currently shopping his children’s book The Valentine Maker and finishing his second book Oxy-Mormon Memoirs which is based on his Mormon Boy Trilogy: Confessions of a Mormon Boy, Missionary Position, and Prodigal Dad to be published in 2017.
Fales recently performed all three solo plays in Mormon Boy Trilogy in repertory at Richmond Triangle Players for the Acts of Faith Festival where the Washington Post called his work, “Powerful. Moving. Funny. A rare artistic commodity: a stand-up-infused autobiographical epic containing chapter after chapter of absorbing spiritual and personal crisis, sly cultural commentary and humor.” Mormon Boy Trilogy is in development for an off-Broadway run Spring 2017.
The new title for the off-Broadway version of Confessions is called XXX’d: The Off-Broadway Version of Confessions of a Mormon Boy as in X’communicated; X’wife; X’rated (human trafficking).
Other work includes his cabaret act Mormon American Princess (Joe’s Pub, NYC; Metropolitan Room,NYC; Don’t Tell Mama, NYC; Upright Cabaret LA) and last October he premiered his second cabaret Cult Model at the Laurie Beechman Theater in NYC. Upcoming work includes his solos Conversations with Heavenly Mother: An Uncommon Diva and Joseph III; a stand-up show When All Else Fales; a play Sacred Strain; and a musical Saltair.
More about Solo Salt Lake: Solo Salt Lake is a new theater company bringing the best of local, national and international solo performance to the Mountain West. Steven Fales says, “I have so many solo colleagues that have never played Salt Lake. I not only need a home to develop my own work but a venue to bring in amazing artists with voices that Salt Lake needs to experience and celebrate.” Steven Fales produced Jeff Keys’ Eyes of Babylon at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center as well as Carol Lynn Pearon’s Mother Wove the Morning in Las Vegas. He has coached many storytellers to fringe festival gold with his solo performance workshops. Fales is the founder of the Facebook group Solo Performance Alliance.
More about Steven Fales: Actor/writer/director/producer Steven Fales is a member of Actors Equity Association and has performed in New York and regional theatre across the country and in television and film. His first union job was playing Hap in Death of a Salesman at New Harmony Theatre in Indiana. He was the dad in the national “Ski Utah” commercial 2012-2014. Locally he has worked at Utah Shakespeare Festival, Pioneer Theatre Co., Sundance Summer Theatre, Tuacahn Amphitheatre and has developed his solo work at the Tavernacle, Wiseguys and the ComplexSLC. He has directed at Provo Theatre Company and taught drama at the Waterford School where he directed his adaptation of Everyman.
Steven is a public speaker and has spoken for groups ranging from Affirmation: LGBTQ Mormons to Gamofites (Gay Mormon Fathers) to the Gay/Straight Alliance at the Phillips Academy Andover/Exeter. He has guest lectured at Hunter College in New York City and at the University of Maine. He has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for charity with his work including a star-studded benefit for the Point Foundation at the Mitzi Newhouse Theatre at Lincoln Center. He shared his experiences of surviving Reparative Therapy on the Tyra Banks Show in which the episode “When It’s Not In to be Out” was nominated for a GLAAD Media Award.
Steven was born in Provo, Utah and is the oldest of six children. When he was one his family moved to Los Angeles where his father attended medical school at USC. Steven was raised in Northern California and later Las Vegas where he went to junior high and high school. Steven attended the Boston Conservatory on scholarship before serving an LDS mission to Portugal. He received his BFA in musical theatre at Brigham Young University where he was a Young Ambassador. He received his MFA in classical acting from the University of Connecticut and has attended the American Comedy Institute and studied privately with legendary acting coach Larry Moss.
Fales is the former son-in-law of celebrated Mormon poet/playwright Carol Lynn Pearson (My Turn on Earth, Facing East, No More Good-byes) and commissioned her portrait from the late gay Mormon artist Trevor Southey. Steven Fales has two children with her daughter actor/writer/producer Emily Pearson (8: The Mormon Proposition; Dancing with Crazy). Steven’s step grandfather is LDS General Authority emeritus Hartman Rector, Jr. and step uncle was Daniel Rector, former editor of Sunstone Magazine. His father is currently an LDS bishop in Las Vegas where Steven grew up and with whom he now has a very close relationship. They spend weekends doing projects together at his father's hobby ranch in Enoch, Utah.
Steven is an activist for HIV/AIDS and an advocate for the Father’s Rights Movement and the National Parent Organization. He is in the process of founding the Possibility Foundation that helps prevent human trafficking in the LGBT Community and assist survivors of the sex industry according to recent articles about him in the Huffington Post and OUT.com.
Steven purchased signed depiction releases to mention Carol Lynn and Emily Pearson and his children in this play and all his work.
Celebrity Endorsements for Steven Fales’ Off-Broadway Version
Judith Light: “Steven’s one-man show is a combination of an incredibly emotional and heart-wrenching story, a powerfully written and nuanced script, and a knock-it-out-of-the-ballpark performance. Confronting the ‘demons’ within, and seemingly around him, and ending up such an inspiring example of true self-respect and authenticity left me deeply touched and equally inspired.”
Bruce Vilanch: “My only regret is that I came so late to this experience. It was wonderful, wonderful, wonderful—the best gay coming-of-age, grappling-with-being piece I’ve seen since Dan Butler’s and you know there have been a thousand of them ever since his. It’s really good. This needs to be filmed.”
Lucie Arnaz: “When one can be so moved as to laugh till your jaw hurts, wince with the sorry recognition at the pain distorted religion can inflict, cheer with unashamed abandon at an enviable and inspiring bravery so rarely expressed in the face of certain banishment and ridicule, you know you have had a thrilling and emotionally fulfilling theatrical experience. Bravo, Steven Fales and his Mormon Boy!”