Dan Via has all the ingredients for an excellent comedy about two best friends entering middle-age and facing life altering changes. Instead DADDY tries to be a dark drama of Greek proportions. How much can you bend a plot without it breaking? That depends on the eye of the beholder.
Colin (Gerald McCullouch) and Stew (Dan Via) have been best friends since college and do the things longtime best friends do -gay or not. They have created a routine for each other (watching tv together, ordering take-out, visiting each other at the office), and that routine is soon rattled when Colin meets and shows interest in his new intern Tee (Bjorn DuPaty), a young athletic soon-to-be journalist who seems to know quite a lot about newspaper columnist McCullouch and his family. As Colin becomes accustomed to the idea of living in the now with Tee — inviting him not only into the workplace but also into his life — Stew too quickly begins to doubt on Tee’s intentions, sparking a premature jealousy that could be mistaken by a desire more monumental than that of friendship – here is where the writing starts getting muddy. We slowly (for some abruptly) realize that Tee is suffering from an Oedipus Complex closer to his lover than to home. It’s almost as if Tee’s character and plot was an afterthought, since the relationship between Colin and Stew is so brilliantly captured, serving us two grounded professional gay men who don’t fit the old-time cliche of cruising gay bars, talking about sex and barely-legal boys all the time. In the backdrop of all this is the subject of gay marriage, but it is never addressed to its full potential. Consider it the glaze on a sometimes off – yet sometimes yummy dessert.
Gerald McCullouch is brilliant as Colin, captivating the audience the same way he captivates his intern -well played by Bjorn DuPaty. There is not a moment of dishonesty in Mr. McCullouch’s performance, even when the plot simmers to a rather melodramatic boil.
Dan Via has a nack for comedy both in his writing and performance. He captured the heart of the relationships with ease and wit. When these were the focus, DADDY triumphed.~~~ DownTown Theatre Company presents Dan Via’s DADDY Directed by David Hilder January 28-February 13 (Mon & Wed-Sun @8pm) TBG Arts Center Mainstage Tickets are $18.00, for more information and to purchase tickets visit www.daddytheplay.com. TBG Arts Center Mainstage | 312 West 36th Street, 3rd Floor | Manhattan