Regional Reviews: San Francisco
Greg Walloch Is A Boyishly Roguish Storyteller In White Disabled Talent
New York performing artist Greg Walloch brings his one person show to the New Conservatory Theatre Center for a very short stay. The New York Times calls him "simultaneously tough and disarmingly sweet." His solo performance is just short of sixty minutes, and it is mostly a monologue, then a side splitting comedy stand. He has been described as a gay Garrison Keillor. Walloch tells his audience "I'm gay, I'm disabled, and I'm living in Harlem."
Mr. Walloch was born with cerebral palsy, though he walks briskly and supports himself on two walking sticks. He is a transplanted Californian who lived in New York for 12 years and tries to consider himself a New Yorker (although he does admit he has trouble with that thought when a New York cab driver tries to run him down and Greg yells obscenities to the driver).
Walloch enters onto a darkened stage, and when the light hits him, he says he is here on behalf of the "Chelsea Gay Men's Literacy Fund." He makes an "impassionate" plea to the audience to help these boys to read. They are always in bars or gyms and have no time to read with the exception of gay porno picture books.
The title of his solo act comes from a time when he auditioned for a role on Sesame Street. While waiting with other persons to audition, a PBS employee came out and said "send in the white disabled talent." Walloch said he did not get the gig. He also tells a story about a faith healer in a Southern Baptist Church trying to heal his affliction.
Walloch has come to terms with his disability and he tries to make light of it. Most of his stories relate to the disability of his body, but he says he has risen above it and lives a good life writing and entertaining. He says that when he is feeling sorry for himself he recites mantras and eats cake. This always gets him out of a depressing mood.
Greg Walloch is a personable, funny guy who works his disability and his sexual proclivities into his routines. He tells many funny stories - the kind that you have to be there to appreciate. He has a wicked sense of humor, but somehow he can spread love around the audience. There is no doubt about it, he has great charisma with his boyish grin and soft brown eyes.
White Disabled Talent ran through April 27th at the New Conservatory Theatre Center, 25 Van Ness Ave, San Francisco. For tickets call 415-861-8972 or go on line at www.nctcsf.org.