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Posted: May 2008, OrlandoSentinel.com

'Almost Walking a Straight Line' -- Greg Haskins

By Rebecca Swain
SPECIAL TO THE SENTINEL

What do you do when society, your family, your personal religion all tell you to be something you are not? That is the difficult line that Greg Haskins walks in his engaging and entertaining one-man-show.

At a relatively young age, Haskins realizes he is gay -- but his strict Roman Catholic and Pentecostal upbringing in a midwestern household leads him to a lifelong struggle between reconciling his feelings for men and the social pressures to be straight.

Through honest, expressive storytelling, Haskins balances the seriousness of his coming-of-age story with a hearty dose of levity. He colorfully chronicles his adventures in trying to be straight, through Charismatic prayer groups and a personal quest to speak in tongues, Pentecostal church retreats, ex-gay movement meetings, all ending in a surprising financial and emotional burden. After $45,000 into the collection plate, he isn't any more happy or satisfied in his half-life, while the hypocrisy of mainstream Christianity churches stand out in stark relief.

Yet his journey doesn't end with a condemnation of Christian belief. Rather Haskins -- and his show -- gives us a much needed reminder of the true foundation of the movement: Compassion, honesty, and love.

Remaining performances: 10:40 p.m. 5/18, 11 p.m. 5/19, 9:20 p.m. 5/23, 9:20 p.m. 5/24, 12:40 p.m. 5/25. Blue venue.

Filed under: 2008 Fringe reviews, Actors, American theater, Critics, Fringe festivals, Orlando theater, People, Theater , Theater festivals

:Comments

Great show. . .honest, good pace, local Disney references and many laughs. One of the best I've seen so far.Posted by: michaelhodges | May 18, 2008 at 04:35 PM

This show was great! Greg is a master of physical comedy but was equally good with the touching moments. What can I say? I laughed, I cried, he rock's.Posted by: laurel clark | May 21, 2008 at 03:08 PM

Eye opening and touching portrayal of the struggles between faith, family and sexuality. I laughed, I cried, more importantly I thought about it long after I left the show. Posted by: christine | May 21, 2008 at 04:05 PM 

 

 

 

Posted on IndianaAuditions.com
September, 2007
 
Indy Fringe: Almost Walking a Straight Line

Review by: Hope Baugh

“Almost Walking a Straight Line” is an exceptionally well-crafted, one-man theatre piece. It was written and performed by Greg Haskins, directed by Kaz Matamura & Mike Rademaekers and presented during the Indy Fringe Festival by Fire Rose Productions.

In this piece, Greg tells the moving and hilarious story of his life as an artist, as a gay man, and as a spiritual person trying to do what God wants him to do. The story includes years and a fortune spent on tithing to a variety of churches and on attending “Go Straight” therapy.

The observation skills that he developed over years of trying to be something he wasn’t now allow him to portray the variety of characters in his story with complexity and wit. Some of the characters could easily have been drawn as stereotypes, but under Greg’s control, they are fully human and cleverly delineated.

The piece is perfectly adapted for the Phoenix Theatre’s underground Frank & Katrina Basile space. Greg brilliantly uses the whole stage, even incorporating the pole in a deliberate and creative way.

However, more than the artistic and technical prowess of this show, I loved what Greg had to say about his current relationship with God. “I really wanted to be straight, but like speaking in tongues, I’m not going to fake it…I tried for eight years. God knows I tried… Sometimes, I feel like His stand-in. When He shows up, I thank Him.”

And in the meantime, when someone tells Greg they’re hurting, he does not say, “I’ll pray for you.” He says, “What can I do to help you?” When someone says, “I am afraid!” Greg says, “You are not alone. I am here with you.”

I, too, believe that this is what God meant when He told us to love one another.

“Walking a Straight Line” closed at the 2007 Indy Fringe Festival on Sunday, September 2.

 

Published in: LA WEEKLY

(Los Angeles city-wide distributed newspaper)

Thursday, June 21st, 2007
By Neal Weaver

(An official “GO” to LA Weekly readers) -  

ALMOST WALKING A STRAIGHT LINE Writer-performer Greg Haskins grew up in a family dominated by Charismatic Catholicism, which he defines as a lethal cross of Catholicism and Pentecostalism. His religious upbringing collided spectacularly with his burgeoning homosexuality, providing the theme of this one-man show. Haskins offers hilarious-horrendous descriptions of growing up in a house presided over by dogmatic, emotionally remote parents, in which every moment was filled with Christian pamphlets, Christian tapes, Christian music and Christian worship, and all his many siblings went off to Oral Roberts University. At age 18, he fled home for the University of Oklahoma, but was still prey to religiously oriented therapists who wanted to “cure” his homosexuality (predictably, his “mentors” were prone to sexual lapses of their own). And he turns an equally satirical eye on the manners, mores and pretensions of the gay world. Haskins’ wit is keen, and his comic timing is razor sharp, but there’s a serious side as well: The most telling dramatic moment comes as his judgmental, homophobic father is dying of cancer, and Haskins realizes that this is his last chance for a meaningful conversation. He decides not to bother, and goes on his way. Kaz Matamura and Mike Rademaekers provide crisp direction.


Published in: The Tolucan Times
(San Fernando Valley local newspaper)

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

By: Pat Taylor
Column: “Nite Lights” 

ALMOST WALKING A STRAIGHT LINE

 
Greg Haskins’ humorously thought provoking, self-written, and triumphantly performed one-man show is quite special!  A relatable look at the issues, conflicts and social stigmas that face gay men, and also a “bright spark” of open-minded understanding of these dilemmas, for a heterosexual audience, this is an entertaining and well spent 75 minutes.
 
Co-directed with lively and colorful passion, by Kaz Matamura and Mike Rademaekers, the pacing and honestly realistic performance of Haskins, has won over audiences here for months.  Raised in Illinois by fanatically God-fearing parents, and self-denying his attraction to males for years, this autobiography of a soul searching, struggling pro-singer/dancer, offers much to ponder.  Desperately trying to live as a “straight man,” he riotously and poignantly depicts 20 characters that touched his life on the journey.  Playing both of his parents, his choir director, a Frenchman, his three-year long lover, a female choreographer, and a Pentecostal woman speaking in tongues (and many more), my favorites were Glenn, the macho man, and Marty, the proverbial “Swish.”  An infectious storyteller, actor, singer and writer, he ties up the story of his crazy times with a life affirming, meaningful message that applies to everyone on the planet!  This show is a lot of fun and a true slice of life!  See it!  Running most Thursday nights at 7:30pm through Aug. 24 at The Secret Rose Theater, 11246 Magnolia Blvd. in NoHo.  Call (818) 766-3691 to book seats.



Audience feedback from LA TIMES CALENDAR website:

July 23, 2006

loriada@sbcglobal.net N. Hollywood, Ca

This show was HILARIOUS!!! And moving and invigorating. An original, genuine confession of what it was like for a gay man with 6 straight brothers growing up in a charismatic catholic home in Oral Roberts land where the Pope was plastered all over his home. Greg reveals what it is like to grow up feeling unseen and unheard, a fish out of water in ones own home. LOVED IT!!!!

July 21, 2006

Robert Goodman Los Angeles, CA

"Almost Walking a Straight Line" is wonderful. Poignant, touching, defiant and funny. Sure to resonate with anyone touched by religious fanaticism (or in possession of a heart)!

July 19, 2006

Mark Totty La Crescenta, CA

Almost Walking A Straight Line is an entertaining and insightful night of theater. It's a heartfelt slice of an American life told by a natural born storyteller. Greg Haskins lovingly skewers sexuality, religion, show business, relationships and family all while making you laugh till you bust a rib. Highly recommended.

July 18, 2006

claude o'brien woodland hills, ca

I really enjoyed this show. The stories were funny and sometimes sad, but most importantly, they were real. Haskins makes this taboo subject come to life in living color. I hope more folks take a chance on this very entertaining show.

July 18, 2006

Judy Platt Pasadena, CA

I recently saw the one man show "Almost Walking a Straight Line" at the Secret Rose Theatre in N. Hollywood. It was wonderful. This is not just a show about the gay lifestyle. It is an insightfully written look at something we can all relate to - trying to be something you're not. Greg Haskins, the writer and performer of the show did an amazing job of taking you on his life's journey toward self acceptance with a wide range of characters, dances and songs. I strongly recommend you see this show.

July 18, 2006

Carole Dutra Valley Village, CA

Greg Haskins is wonderful in this heartfelt one person show about a man coming to terms with his sexuality . He makes us laugh, cry, and most of all entertains and enlightens his audience. Almost A Straight Line is a powerful piece, and Greg Haskins is a talented performer and writer.

July 18, 2006

Todd Gross Encinitas, CA

Not just a fine singer and dancer (which was his job for many years), but a good actor and storyteller as well. Greg shows us a slice of the world most of us will never get to see or hear about (for which we should be thankful). His depiction of manly vs swishy behaviorisms alone is worth the ticket price.

July 17, 2006

Cameron Smith Hollywood, CA

The one man show "Allmost Walking a Straight Line" is a total surprise and delight. I thought it might just be another gay themed play but as it progressed, the surprising conflict of having a relationship while in show business with a throughline of religion and God versus a same sex partnership touches a much deeper place in the audience than they might suspect. This multilevel self exploration adds a great deal of hilarity to this funny, thought-provoking show.

July 17, 2006

christine fleming venice, ca

Not only did I laugh out loud, I winced a few times and teared up. It's amazing Greg turned out so normal. The play was candid, heart wrenching, funny and painful. My favorite line...my mother had postings of scripture all over the house, a picture of the pope on the wall...I had...a poster of Elton John above my bed. This comic/actor/writer is a survivor!

 

July 17, 2006

rosanna cacace burbank, ca

Almost Walking a Straight Line is one of the best one man shows in Los Angeles as we speak. Greg Haskins is hilarious and endearing throughout his performance. His writing is fabulous! Almost Walking a Straight Line provokes not only laughter, but with its controversial topic you walk away with a lot to think about. Everyone who needs a great laugh and a tug at the heart must go see his show.

July 17, 2006

Lorraine Walnut, CA

This show is outstanding! Abrilliant, brave, honest, hiliarious performance by Greg Haskins. A MUST SEE!

July 17, 2006

Greg Tapscott North Hollywood, ca

It is the best piece of theatre I have seen in LA! A bit of a theatre snob myself having just moved here from NYC. Visited LA quite often but never really get to see good local theatre. This is a serious work of art that makes you think, laugh, cry and REMEMBER!

July 17, 2006

PAT los angeles, CA

This is a great one-man show with poignancy and humor. Greg has reached into his experience and revealed his soul. I say run don't walk to see it.

July 17, 2006

Mike Rabb Valey Village, CA

My wife and I loved this show. It was funny, warm, touching and so very entertaining. Straight or gay, this show works on all levels. Greg Haskins is charming and really fun to watch. I could have gone another 20 minutes and that's something I rarely say about theater in Los Angeles.

July 17, 2006

Dr.Gloria Blatti Studio City, CA

What a wonderfully honest and funny show. I actually brought my 13 year old with his girlfriend to this show and they both have been raving about the show. Gregg is a very talented guy that kepts us laughing and crying throughout the show. His honesty was a real eye opener for us and his story is one that needs to be told and should be seen by all ages..He is truly a remarkable story teller who has touched my heart!!

July 17, 2006

James Kingzett Sherman Oaks, CA

The show was surprisingly funny, I really didn't know what to expect, but Greg really did a great job exploring the topics of religion and homosexuality. The show was a good length and I did not find my self shifting in my chair as I do with some shows. I was captivated. Go see the show!

July 17, 2006

Carla Garcia Los Angeles, CA

This was a fantastic show. Greg Haskins portrayed a honest monologue of what it was like growing up afraid to tell family that he is gay. It is a poignant view on questionable standards set by society and religion. What makes this show so great is that although there are some very serious and touching moments, his story is told in a comedic fashion. Outstanding!

July 17, 2006

Janice Nicols Los Angeles, CA

A rare gem. Funny, yet thought provoking. Greg Haskins does an amazing job of letting the audience in on the inner life of a gay man raised in a Pentecostal religious family.

 

July 17, 2006

Renee Irwin Pittsburgh, PA

I can't say enough about this ONE MAN SHOW! It touched my life! Greg Haskins completely swept me away by his performance. What a Great Night in Theater! The story, the characters, & my favorite part: the morphing from a gay man to a straight man's walk are truly mesmerizing, astounding, heart-felt & unforgettable! His performance lives on long after the show is OVER! Enjoyable, funny; this show crosses all boundaries & shares a depth, a humor, life-lessons & a wisdom that will grab the heart of every person who sees it. I LOVED IT! I HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT! ~ Renee

July 17, 2006

Duane Boyer Studio City, CA

This was a great show, personal and revealing. Any one who enjoys theater will find the presentation of this material entertaining. Craig takes the aspects of his life and presents them in a funny, daring and touching manner for all to connect with...