Steven Fales
The Mormon Boy Trilogy
Review by Ross Anthony

A special "all three in one day" presentation of the Mormon Boy Trilogy was set up for press (and others) in LA in 2012. Myself and my plus-one decided to take the risk on this insanely long day (5 hours) of one-man's one-man show. What's life without a few crazy adventures?


Upon our arrival, we discovered that the first show sold out (and then some). Myself and +1 decided to voluntarily relinquish our press seats so that the production could house a couple more paying customers. For this reason, I have no review for MB1. I can however say, that the theatre personnel were marvelous, and the adjacent (and connected) café, well worth stopping by. It's barista was splendid, his mocha latte and toasted sandwiches were as well. Oh, and the tasty salad was dressed just right.


As for MB2, wow, quite intense, honest, autobiographical, and yet embraces a universal search for purpose, truth, self and meaning. Always interesting and even informative. I'm not a Mormon, but I've had several Mormon (or ex-Mormon) friends. They always impressed me as the nicest people. (Fales would add, "And that's gotta count for something.") Additionally, the Mormon mission concept fascinates me. Can you imagine a world where every 19-year-old isn't just encouraged to, but looks forward to traveling to some distant land with a heart full of good intentions? Sans the preaching, don't you think the world would be more peaceful? Not necessarily because of the good done by the traveler, but because of the good done to the soul of the traveler. Wouldn't the "collective worldview" improve by leaps and bounds if each and everyone one of us learned a foreign language, got on a plane and spent a couple of years simply talking with passersby in distant lands? But I digress. Steven Fales sheds insider and entertaining light on that actual Mormon Missionary. He arrives on stage with a trunk full of nostalgic prop paraphernalia from the two years he'd spent in Portugal. He made it obvious that despite falling out of Mormon faith, those mission years meant a great deal to him. Again, in addition to insight into this curiosity, Fales also respects the audience with his honesty and raw inner self, further (never forgetting that he has a show to deliver) peppers the monologue with powerful song and engaging rich intense set pieces rife with energy, humor, and dynamics from sadness to silliness to soul-searching to sarcasm. Even though the stakes are high, the topics lofty and weighty, the show remains quite approachable, made more so by Fales' periodic breaking of the fourth wall in order to guide his audience with a quick smile and/or easygoing quip.

PRODIGAL DAD — A Manic Memoir Meditation

As for MB3, disappointingly, admittedly (by Fales) it wasn't quite finished. I admire the fact that such a shortcoming didn't stop him from performing a staged reading of his most current draft. So, for curiosity's sake we (the audience) stuck it through. But, a staged reading is quite a step down from an actual performance. Yeah, he gave the work sweat, inflection, dramatics, but 50% of the time his eyes were on the manuscript. Having already won us over with quality work earlier in the day, we weren't terribly offended, nor let down with the trilogy as a whole. That said, the larger problem with the MB3's working script was the lack of stage play: no props, no sound FX's, a scribbling of blocking, and a rather dominant downer realityness that was tamed in MB2 with the richly playful set pieces. Also missing was interesting Mormon quirks and pokefunnery. Most Mormon mentions here waxed a tad more bitter. The story remained intense, powerful, and highly personal, but rather stark and unceremoniously stripped of the entertainment component artfully integrated in the earlier work. All that said, Fales' story was still interesting/compelling to the end. And again, if some time has passed between my writing and your reading, Mr. Fales may have already polished off this particular "work in progress."

-- Books by Author/Illustrator Ross Anthony --

  • Based on the 4/22/2012 performance at Hudson Guild Theatre, Hollywood. Copyright © 2012 .
  • Writer/Actor/Producer Steven Fales. Above Photo by Dorothy Shi.

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Copyright © 1998-2022 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: or call 1-800-767-7186. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.

Last Modified: Wednesday, 25-Apr-2012 13:48:47 PDT