Dada Woof Papa Hot, will hit the note with the gay couples who have entered parenthood and have given up their non-monogamous life styles for marriage and family. Like most every show, TV or theatre, dealing with this subject it is one dimensional and in a word boring. The difference between this play, which deals with gay dad’s is that it is stereotypical of straight lives except that straight couples don’t go to Fire Island to do it in the bushes or in groups unless we are talking about the 60’s. When I realized the playwright Peter Parnell wrote the script to the musical Hunchback of Notre Dame and the revival of On a Clear Day, I understood why I found this whole evening trite and way longer than the ninety minutes.
The play concerns two privileged gay couples living in New York. Rob (Patrick Breen), mid-40s, is a therapist married to Alan (John Benjamin Hickey), 50, a journalist who writes for The New York Times Magazine and The New Yorker. Like most writers he wants to write the great American novel, his memoir. They have a 3-year-old daughter, Nicola, who has not yet bonded with Alan and vise a versa.
As the play begins they meet up with a new couple who are considerably younger. Scott (Stephen Plunkett), who works in private equity, and Jason (Alex Hurt), a painter. They have two boys. Their conversations revolve around their children, preschool and work.
The next night over dinner at Rob and Alan’s Rob and Alan’s straight married friends Broadway Composer Michael (John Pankow) and stay at home mom Serena (Kellie Overbey), we learn more about Alan’s bonding problems with Nicola. Michael confesses he had the same bonding problem and casually states he has been having an affair with an actress, Julia (Kathy McCafferty normally played by Tammy Blanchard). Julia’s husband is supposedly gay. Alan who is scandalized tells Michael he should end it, as he is working on an article called the “fidelity gene.”
Fidelity like a angry web becomes an issue for all involved.
The cast is top, of their game with Hickey and Plunkett excelling. Scott Ellis keeps the pace, but it is a shame the dialogue and the subject matter bog the action down. John Lee Beatty’s set and the way it maneuvers is truly wonderful.
Dada Woof Papa Hot : Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater, Lincoln Center; until Jan. 31st.