- Richard Ouzounian – Toronto Star
James Gangl’s unforgettable autobiographical show deals with all of those catchy things in the title, which variously affect his relationship with a smart, gorgeous model he meets while shooting a TV commercial. Gangl has always been a likeable, charming comic, but his emotional honesty here, especially in the second half, deepens the humour. Here’s hoping for a remount, in which Gangl, ably directed by Chris Gibbs, will be able to slow down and not have to keep saying, “There’s no time for laughs!” (which ironically gets more laughs).
- Glenn Sumi – Now Magazine
“a 75-minute romp of epic proportions, by far the funniest thing I’ve seen during my Fringe days”
- Jason Schreurs – CVV Magazine
First love, first loss, first times, and first communion—these make up the foundation of James Gangl’s debut solo show, a deeply personal and completely entertaining account of his struggles to reconcile his primal urges, a Catholic upbringing, an acting career, and the most beautiful woman he’s ever seen. As honest as a boy in confession, Gangl is energetic, captivating, and hilarious as he leaves all his insecurities, triumphs, and disappointments on the stage, all of which are more relatable than we’d like to admit in public. But it’s not all sex jokes and religious jabs (though that’s a big part of it). While Gangl spends most of the hour in straightforward narration, bouncing from past to present, moments in spoken word and beat poetry are a surprising and impressive addition. We’ve all got hang-ups and stories of heartbreak, we just wish we could all tell them like Gangl.
- Carly Maga – Torontoist.com
In this one-man show, Toronto writer, actor, and improviser James Gangl turns a years-old personal journal into 60 minutes of hilarious, honest, tightly-woven theatre. Gangl performs most his show with the familiar style of an improviser. While he never asks the audience for a suggestion, one feels like he might at any moment – that’ s how at-ease he makes his audience feel. In a five-minute period he goes from manic, unbridled flow to crisp, tight, rhythmic spoken-word poetry to one-man, two-person scenes and back again. Under the capable direction of Chris Gibbs (whose own one-man shows have won over audiences across the country) Gangl gets very personal with an underdog point that makes his message universal. Many people who’ve lived their lives under the hovering thumb of the Catholic Church end up with repressed fetishes and guilt-laden desires. Thanks to Gangl, his journal, and his guts, we end up with one of this year’s must-see Fringe shows.
I just saw Sex, Religion and Other Hangups and I have to say that James Gangl has huge balls. This is a painfully honest, hilariously funny one-man show on the topics the title claims: mostly sex and religion, with some hangups about trying to make it as an actor while having a corporate day job also making an appearance. There is no way this is fictionalized.
Gangl starts the show by telling the audience that he has a very specific goal in putting on this show: he wants to find a girlfriend. It’s a pretty good tactic: if I were a single girl, and interested in marriage and babies I’d probably be pretty smitten. Mostly because I highly value a sense of humour.
I saw an 11 pm show on a Monday, after I had just come back to my 9 to 5 job after camping all weekend. As I was going to Sex, Religion and Other Hangups, I thought to myself “If this show is anything less than stellar, I’m sure to fall asleep.” I didn’t even remember how exhausted I was for an hour, and I’m not sure I can give a show any higher praise than that.
And I really hope the girl of Gangl’s dreams comes to see the show and introduces herself afterwards. I think he deserves it.
- Dorianne Emmerton – Mooney on Theatre