| Theater |

Say Hey to the New Guy Performing The A-Gays: Stillwater, Oklahoma at Fair Park

Keep Dallas Observer Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Dallas and help keep the future of Dallas Observer free.

Nouveau 47 Theatre at the Magnolia Lounge in Fair Park is building a reputation as a developer of interesting new plays. Their new works festival is coming up soon and they like to foster relationships with young writers and performers pouring heart, soul and fresh ideas onto the stage.

Their latest is the adult-themed comedy The A-Gays: Stillwater, Oklahoma, written and performed by Dallas theater newcomer John Michael Colgin, who goes by his first and middle names professionally. It's a one-man, one-act piece, unscripted, says John Michael, who counts monologists Mike Daisey and the late Spalding Gray as inspirations.

Speaking directly to the audience, John Michael begins with a tribute to Tyler Clementi, the Rutgers student who committed suicide in 2010 after his roommate, Dharun Ravi, tweeted and live-streamed over the internet a dorm-room sexual encounter between Clementi and another man. Clementi later killed himself by jumping off the George Washington Bridge. Ravi recently was found guilty of invasion of privacy and other charges connected to the incidents that led to Clementi's death. "Dharun, 10 years; Tyler, an eternity," says John Michael in the show.

The high-energy 80-minute monologue then tells John Michael's own coming-out saga in a series of vignettes that seesaw between high comedy and solemn drama. He even steps out of "character" to ask for the audience's indulgence. "Root for him," he says, referring to his younger self, the one who had trouble being openly gay on the conservative campus of Oklahoma State University. (His drama professor there, Matt Tomlanovich, directed this production. John Michael subsequently transferred to University of Texas at Dallas.)

Much of A-Gays is stuff you've probably heard before in plays about coming out and dealing with homophobia from family and friends. John Michael isn't yet Harvey Fierstein. His writing is disjointed at times. And though he can be bitchy-funny -- his best line is "Modesty is for ugly people" -- he hasn't yet found a unique voice for comedy.

He is immensely likable, however, and that's a leg up on many solo performers, including the now-debunked Daisey.

The A-Gays: Stillwater, Oklahoma contains explicit language and sexual situations. It continues at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through April 14 at Nouveau 47 Theatre, The Magnolia Lounge. All tickets are pay-what-you-can.

Follow the Mixmaster on Twitter and Facebook.

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.