My Theatre

08 August 2013

Kelly at the Fringe, Pt 4: I Like You, I Really Like You

By // Theatre (Toronto)

Stealing-Sam-Steven-Gallagher-Next-Step-Productions-32Just one more, I promise. This is the last one. And I promise this one is nice. This one is really nice. Because this was the thing I liked. This was the Only thing I legitimately really liked over the course of the entire Fringe Festival without previously liking the company, the text, the director or some combination of other company members.

Stealing Sam was just plain good.

It was good in a small-scale, Fringe-y, one-man-show kind of way. But it was also good in a pure storytelling, excellent execution, honestly funny and brilliantly emotional kind of way. Steven Gallagher’s heart-wrenching writing and beautiful performance struck the perfect balance of nostalgic observational comedy and insight into human relationships. His story (about best friends and badly timed soulmates having one final picnic together after one of their funerals) was the most touching thing I’ve seen in months. Gallagher’s matter-of-fact way of addressing life with HIV and the rarely explored, quietly sad ways it affects the life of its victims, even when they’re living healthily with it, is deeply affecting. And his subtle story of love and friendship feels at once personal and universal. It was a beautiful (and bittersweetly funny) piece worthy of a greater platform.

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