Monday, July 16, 2007

One Man's Rant on All the Wrong Reasons

When you are the son of a Catholic nun and a Franciscan monk, you might experience guilt pangs as a result of being a blasphemous spawn. Luckily, John Fugelsang explores such angst to side-splitting effect in his one-man show All the Wrong Reasons, performed at the Barrow Street Theater in the West Village. A liberal laugh machine who reinvented himself as a serious artiste exploring matters of religion, obligation, Catholic guilt and commitment, Fugelsang forces deeper questioning of God (who he compares to Elvis-loves the man, freaked out by the fan clubs), righteous indignation and what we will sacrifice for love.

In this strangely sweet and politically irreverent performance, Fugelsang recreates his roller-coaster life of appearing on Politically Incorrect to debate neo-Nazi David Duke, his Catholic guilt black-belt master of a mother, his 11-year unmarried courtship with his beloved, and acts of compassionate drug smuggling. It helps that Fugelsang, former host of America's Funniest Home Videos, has that all-American boyish charm that allows even the most outrageous tales to go down the audience's gullet with glee.

Note: Like too many of the great performances I've seen in the last few months in New York City, the show is in limited run. The next (and last) show here will be on July 22 at 8pm. Go see it before he heads back to LA!

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