Fringe 2018 review: 'In Search of Cruise Control' is an entertaining exploration of sexual shipwreck


Somehow I made it through my first 15 Fringe shows without seeing a single one-man show with graphic descriptions of intercourse. Thankfully, James Gangl has sailed into town with In Search of Cruise Control, an explicit but entertaining exploration of his sexual shipwrecks.

Gangl grew up in a crushingly conservative Catholic home, where he got all his sex ed from The Terminator’s Kyle Reese and Lawrence “Furious Styles” Fishburne, so it’s not surprising that he stayed a virgin until age 28. Once James finally got busy, he went bonkers, bedding karaoke-singing strangers and a racist cruise ship receptionist with relish. And in case you feared Gangl would only gab about the good stuff while disregarding the downside of doing it, there are detours through unplanned pregnancies and STIs.

In Search of Cruise Control, which was directed and dramaturged by Chris Gibbs, is nominally structured around Gangl’s efforts to give his teen nephew the “best sex talk ever” and reconcile with his mother (not at the same time). But at the press preview, Gangl gave a performance so scattershot that long portions appeared to be unplanned derailments. Whether or not that’s an intentional part of the production’s loosey-goosey charm, Gangl’s style is less a carefully plotted monologue than a casual, semi-hostile conversation with his audience, with our without their consent.

Cruise Control is crammed with uproariously uncomfortable comedy, at least until the story takes a hard port turn into a painful revelation that recasts everything that came before. Gangl’s voyage gets a bit choppy along the way, but the destination is worthwhile. Bring along that special someone you practice PDA with, but you might want to leave your mom on shore.

In Search of Cruise Control
Gangland Productions / James Gangl
Toronto, Ontario Canada
18 & Up – Strong Language, Mature Themes
70 Minutes
Pink Venue
Thursday, May 17th 8:15pm
Saturday, May 19th 8:45pm
Sunday, May 20th 9:30pm
Tuesday, May 22nd 10:30pm
Friday, May 25th 7:15pm
Saturday, May 26th 11:30AM
Sunday, May 27th 2:45pm

Check out ALL of our Fringe 2018 reviews at

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