Solo comedy actor John Michael Colgin is only 23 and still finding his way as an out-gay writer and performer of his own material. His latest is the enjoyable but uneven John Michael and the Order of the Penix, his third show at the small experimental company Nouveau 47 at the Magnolia Lounge.
With his Bieber-swoop of hair, Muppet-y eyes and Julia Roberts grin, John Michael (as he prefers to be known) has the face of an angel. But he's a nasty little devil onstage, telling stories full of TMI about pick-ups, one-night stands and STDs. ("He was the cutest boy I ever came with — not on a screen," he says.)
John Michael and the Order of the Penix
He can be terribly funny, though. Allowed to apartment-sit for a friend in a swanky high-rise, he declares, "The Ilume is Grindr incarnate." And, he asserts, as a grad of Dallas' exclusive Jesuit Collegiate Prep, he should be guaranteed a disease-free life: "Jesus is my condom."
Prophylactics, Harry Potter, young gays' ignorance about AIDS and the annoying pimple on his penis: all topics he shuffles together for his 80-minute monologue. He interacts with the audience constantly and comfortably. He even thanks those who aren't laughing "for holding me to a higher standard."
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Eventually John Michael will learn to pare away the heavy metaphors and focus on what he's funniest at, which is talking about his real life, including his parents, who kicked him out a few years ago. Not for being gay, he says. "For being messy. If they'd just kicked me out for being gay, I could have been on The Ellen DeGeneres Show."