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CONVERTED

ensemble theatre · william tolan lawrence · Ages 17+ · flashing lights · world premiere · United States of America

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Review by ROB ANGELL

June 15, 2018 certified reviewer

What I liked

I can’t say enough positive things about this show. The fact that Lawrence was able to take something as barbaric and horrifying as gay conversion therapy and turn its negativity into humor is nothing short of miraculous. Yes, the subject matter is grim, but LGBTQIA+ people are never the target of jokes in this piece. Humor becomes a coping mechanism, with the sobering knowledge that this is all inspired by things happening in our neighborhoods every day. No matter how funny the play gets, it never drifts so far away from the reality of conversion therapy that you desensitize yourself to its inhumanity. At the end I felt like Icarus, flying so high in one moment and plummeting the next. (In a good way!) I came out as bi to myself and the world in January of this year, and the moment where Rivas breaks the 4th wall at the end was the first chance I’ve gotten to publicly celebrate that. Each member of this team shines so brightly that it’s hard to pick a standout. It’s like if you saw a super bright star in the sky and then looked through a telescope and discovered it was actually septenary star system. Do yourself a favor and see this show.

What I didn't like

It ended. I wish it hadn’t. Would love to see this show grow into a longer play!

My overall impression

You. Must. See. This. Show. Bitterly funny, gut-punchingly tragic, it’s everything you want in theater.

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