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Play Reviewed:

Doin' Time in The Homo No Mo Halfway House. Peterson Toscano author and performer.

Review by Karen Robinson. All copyrights are held by the author.

Play Review:

Peterson Toscano wrote and stars in this one-man play about his experience with 17 years of “reparative therapy”, before he came to his senses and made peace with the person God made him to be. He actually spent two years in a camp very similar to the “Halfway House” he portrays in his play.

His biography on his website, www.homonomo.com, says “After years of submitting to reparative therapy through counseling, ex-gay support groups, and even three exorcisms, Peterson enrolled in the ex-gay residential program, Love in Action. He graduated successfully from the program nearly two years later, but in January of 1999 he finally came OUT and fully accepted himself as a gay man.”

Mr. Toscano's acting is amazing, as he becomes several different characters in the play. Though his outward appearance remains the same, the audience believes it is seeing completely different people, from Chad, the stereotypically limp-wristed guide who shows us through the Halfway House, to Tex, the macho, married cowboy, to Reverend Meadows, who delivers the triumphant final message. Though Toscano's actual clothes and face haven't changed, you would swear Chad is wearing pink and Tex is wearing a cowboy hat and big boots and Reverend Meadows is in a suit, and that they all have very different facial features. The characters in the play put themselves though agony trying to become straight, in a belief that homosexuality is an “addiction” that can be treated through rehab.

The play is very funny, as it recounts the (real) absurd rules of the Halfway House. But it's also heartbreaking, and inspirational in its final triumph. The way Toscano recounts the story of Lazarus is incredibly powerful.

Toscano spent his early life as a conservative fundamentalist Christian. When he came out, he didn't lose his faith, but it changed as he grew. He is now a member of the Society of Friends (Quakers) and is still a devout Christian. This is also evident in his play.

According to his blog, http://www.a_musing.blogspot.com/ Toscano plans to film his play and release it on DVD sometime in 2008. In the meantime, you can see excerpts from it here: http://www.homonomo.com/thestory.html#