Thursday , June 19, 2014 - 5:40 PM
Nicholas Maughan, Ogden pianist and playwright, explores the perils and pitfalls of modern dating in his third and latest installment of “The Nic Monologues,” this one titled “On Maughanogamy.”
“The first was introducing me growing up in Cache Valley and figuring out life,” he said. “The second was me figuring out how to be confident in who I am. This one is on dating and relationships.”
Maughan’s humorous monologues were inspired by a casual conversation with Good Company Theatre owner Alicia Washington, who is directing the show.
“I always tell people stories about my life, because that’s all I know,” Maughan said. “I was tinkering around on the piano and telling her about a date I went on and she said, ‘Nic, this is a show.’ We talked for about a month and started putting together a show based on my life.”
This time around, he has reworked lyrics from recognizable musical theater tunes and popular Top 40 hits to intersperse with his monologues. He plays the piano accompaniment while serenading the audience.
“It is an eclectic mix,” Maughan said.
Most of the show is humorous, although there are a few serious moments as well.
“There are a lot of laughs. Mine is the loudest one in the theater,” Maughan said. “We talk about how not only does my laugh attract dates and things, I have actually called a few geese over, too.”
He enjoys performing in the small space.
“It is so intimate,” Maughan said. “You really get to feel connected to the audience members. It is always a personal experience, which I think works really well for the stories being shared.”
Maughan hopes the messages shine through.
“It isn’t just me reading a diary on stage,” he said. “There are universal themes that we all experience as we grow up and make decisions about how to create a life that is beautiful.”
This show looks particularly at dating in the modern era.
“It has changed for everyone, I think,” Maughan said. “We have mobile phones with the internet and dating aps. We meet people online and try to figure out if we want to meet them in real life. It is interesting to learn how to manage it and feel safe and to also feel like you are putting an honest description of yourself out there.”
Appearing on stage has long been a part of life for Maughan.
“I have always been a performer. Mostly it has been through music,” he said. “I think story telling is where we as human beings really connect on a basic level. For me, it has been really confidence building.”
After his shows, Maughan enjoys talking to audience members who find ways to connect to him despite differences. For example, in one show he told a story of being bullied for liking My Little Pony as a gay youth. Afterwards, straight men told him they related to the topic of childhood bullying.
“It creates a real sense of warmth and camaraderie,” he said. “I think we get scared of opening up to each other, but if we share our stories, we can build each other up.
“I really hope the lesson my parents taught me comes through, which is that different from is not inferior to,” Maughan said. “I am trying to work the stories in a way so that people can see the love stories that have been important in their lives, whether it is their own or their parents’ or grandparents’. People will get a sense that love is love.”
Sign up for e-mail news updates.