by Joel Fishbane
Both tragic and wildly comedic, Stealing Sam is a masterful one-man show by writer / actor Steven Gallagher that deals primarily with grief, loss and the perils of Internet dating. How exactly Gallagher manages to weave these disaprate themes into a cohesive narrator is just one of the many ways in which Gallagher impresses during his one hour monologue, set entirely in a park where Gallagher’s character has brought the stolen ashes of Sam, his dead lover.
As directed by Darcy Evans, the show is as sharp as a knife and draws both laughter and tears as Gallagher recounts his attempts to both tend to the dying Sam and deal with love in the age of Facebook. Gallagher is a consummate performer but the real joy of this show is the text. Gallagher doles out information gradually, revealing information only as it is needed. Just when you think you understand this character – or the show itself – another narrative block drops into place, spinning everything into a new direction.
Stealing Sam is at the Toronto Fringe