I just saw Sex, Religion and Other Hangups and I have to say that Jams Gangl has huge balls. I mean that figuratively, not literally.
This is a painfully honest, hilariously funny one-man show on the topics the title claims: mostly sex and religion, with some hangups about trying to make it as an actor while having a corporate day job also making an appearance. There is no way this is fictionalized.
There is no doubt in my mind that James Gangl actually did have a panic attack response to the prospect of sex for many years and that this stemmed from being a very devout Catholic for much of his youth.
Gangl starts the show by telling the audience that he has a very specific goal in putting on this show: he wants to find a girlfriend. It’s a pretty good tactic: if I were a single girl, and interested in marriage and babies (He’s gotten over the sex-before-marriage thing but he definitely still wants a conventional family) I’d probably be pretty smitten. Mostly because I highly value a sense of humour, and Gangl makes up in comedy what he lacks in carnal experience.
I found him a bit too actorly at times, but I can’t blame him for that – it can’t be easy to lay yourself so bare onstage. It also made the moments where he settled into a more conversational register that much more powerful.
I saw an 11 pm show on a Monday, after I had just come back to my 9 to 5 job after camping all weekend. As I was going to Sex, Religion and Other Hangups, I thought to myself “If this show is anything less than stellar, I’m sure to fall asleep.” I didn’t even remember how exhausted I was for an hour, and I’m not sure I can give a show any higher praise than that.
And I really hope the girl of Gangl’s dreams comes to see the show and introduces herself afterwards. I think he deserves it.
– Playing at:
Fri, July 8 6:30 PM 1110
Sat, July 9 3:15 PM 1114
Sun, July 10 6:15 PM 1122
Mon, July 11 11:00 PM 1130
Tue, July 12 1:30 PM 1131
Wed, July 13 10:00 PM 1142
Fri, July 15 7:00 PM 1152
Sun, July 17 2:15 PM 1162
– All individual Fringe tickets are $10 ($5 for FringeKids) at the door (cash only). Tickets are available online at www.fringetoronto.com, by phone at 416-966-1062, in person at The Randolph Centre for the Arts, 736 Bathurst Street (Advance tickets are $11 – $10+$1 convenience fee)