Out – A One-Man Gay Odyssey is a hilarious, nostalgic, and emotional look at a one man’s experience coming out in the 70’s. Out is being performed in the Helena Gardiner Phelan Playhouse (79 St. George St.) at the Toronto Fringe Festival, and it opened to a standing ovation that I was happy to take part in.
Greg Campbell is the sole writer and performer of Out, and he is an absolute powerhouse, showcasing his vast skill-set throughout the production. As he tells stories from his past, he constructs characters and flits between them. His voice-work and movement are so deft that it’s always clear who he’s speaking as, even in a dialogue with multiple people.
Campbell sings, plays guitar, and dances throughout the show. Some fantastic lighting and sound help to elevate his performance, though I would be happy just to watch him alone. The stories he tells have some fantastic lines that audience members were repeating to one another as they left the theatre.
I could see this production getting some flak for being solely focused on the experience of a white man. But given the fact that it’s Campbell’s personal story, I don’t think it should. Despite the many hilarious jokes in Out, there is a deep current of authenticity and emotion running through it. I was surprised by how quickly I could go from hearty chuckles to having my eyes brim with tears.
There isn’t much else to say about Out, other than that I think you should go see it. I greatly enjoyed this show and it does a fantastic job of capturing the experience of one man. This a good show to coincide with Pride. It’s important to note that I’ve reviewed this show from the perspective of a cisgendered white male, but I do think you should go see Out; it’s simply wonderful.
- Out plays at the Helen Gardiner Phelan Playhouse. (79 St. George St)
- Tickets are $12 at the door and in advance. The festival also offers a range of money-saving passes for serious Fringers.
- Tickets can be purchased online, by telephone (416-966-1062), from the Fringe Club at Honest Ed’s Alley, and — if any remain — from the venue’s box office starting one hour before curtain.
- Be aware that Fringe performances always start exactly on time, and that latecomers are never admitted.
- Content Warning: Sexual Content.
- This venue is wheelchair-accessible.
- Friday July 1st, 07:00 pm
- Saturday July 2nd, 01:45 pm
- Monday July 4th, 04:30 pm
- Wednesday July 6th, 07:30 pm
- Thursday July 7th, 11:15 pm
- Friday July 8th, 05:45 pm
- Saturday July 9th, 02:15 pm
Promotional photo by Big Bappis Productions.