Seth Lepore, a Naropa grad now living in Vermont, has an adorable face and the kind of richly extemporaneous voice it takes to be a good performance artist. The guy can definitely talk, but he can also delight, making his new work, Losing My Religion: Confessions of a New Age Refugee, a certain standout at the Boulder International Fringe Festival. Based on Lepores confusing experiences with his own spiritual development, the show opens at 6:30 p.m. tonight at Wesley Chapel, 1290 Folsom Street in Boulder, and continues for five more performances through August 28.
A lot of people who practice this stuff scare the hell out of me, so I decided to do a monologue based on characters that are real, made up or a combination of the two, Lepore says. Like theres the Law of Attraction Lady, whos a sex ed teacher (she came back from another piece I did), and theres the guy who sells yoga pants, and another one who runs the Weekend Warrior Retreat for men.
Its both that and me playing myself: You see me going through Catholicism and through Buddhism at Naropa and some other more esoteric forms of spiritualism. But besides being just funny, Im also very earnest. I talk about my experiences and the pain Ive gone through, of being told, Go to hell! by a priest. I try to show all the guilt and shame tactics and the commodification of spirituality, that whole money ching-ching thing."
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The show isnt offensive, he promises; rather, it acts like a mirror. Im not trying to get people to walk out of the room, he adds. I want people talking about whether their faith is what they really believe in. I hope to create a dialogue. Im not going to say what does or doesnt work for other people.
Tickets are $10 to $15 (or two-for-one tonight only); go to www.boulderfringe.com for showtimes and reservations
Thu., Aug. 19, 6:30 p.m.; Fri., Aug. 20, 9:30 p.m.; Sat., Aug. 21, 5 p.m.; Sun., Aug. 22, 8 p.m.; Fri., Aug. 27, 9 p.m.; Sat., Aug. 28, 8 p.m., 2010