SALT LAKE CITY — My Gay Baptism, produced by Kallisti Theatre Company at the Fringe was light and airy. I wasn’t sure of the message or point of the show throughout. By the end, the main point was still unclear, though the show had many fun moments. I’ve enjoyed other shows written by Elise Barnett-Curran, such as, The Secret Son of Hitler, and I was excited about seeing this one.
I liked the way the camera was set up, with one moving around to follow or circle a character facing the empty chairs where the audience would be, and one set up showing the character looking in a mirror.
The characters were introduced as they entered, with the camera zooming in for a close-up while they posed, which was a fun way to begin. I enjoyed the playfulness of the story that allowed the characters to romp across the stage with glee and to plop down onto the ground or gaze at themselves fondly in the mirror. As the story line continued, I was confused why there were so many lines that didn’t seem to mean anything or have any relation to the play, like when Kelly (Bryce Camryn), the main character, mentions Mame, or when they have a dialogue about the meaning of life and there isn’t a conclusion or even a serious idea of what it could mean, and instead was just jokes, like the characters couldn’t face reality or take anything seriously. It made the play seem like it didn’t matter.
I also was lost why Kelly’s mom (Cami Rosanas) was so obsessive over her age, and what it meant in terms of the baptism. The ending was also very anti-climatic, making me wonder what the point of the show was. There were some lines that were funny, such as when Kelly says the baptism might cause him to have, “rings on his fingers and bells on his toes,” quoting a Mother Goose rhyme. I also enjoyed the part when Kelly finally gets his friend (Andrew Slaughter) some vodka.
Though the title was intriguing and the performers gave their all to their parts, I still was unsure about the point or meaning of the show, and I wanted to find a meaning, not just a bunch of lines said by a few people.