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  •  REVIEW: FATHERS

    Fathers

    This dad's for you

    From a beer-swilling dad permanently affixed to his overturned easy chair to an expectant pop excitedly describing his feelings on video for his son, the excellent short plays in "Fathers" are a funny and poignant meditation on our dads.

    By JOSHUA TANZER
    Offoffoff.com

    Shamelessly calculated to give you something fun to take your dad to as Father's Day approaches, "Fathers" brings together seven short plays, ranging in quality from merely very enjoyable to extremely moving. The show is presented by The Drilling Company, which assembles evenings of one-acts focusing on a single theme — in this case, dads.

      
    FATHERS
    Directed by: Carol Halstead, Spencer Scott Barros, Peter Bretz, Keno Rider, Hamilton Clancy, Ross Stoner, Shelley.
    Includes individual plays: "You Can't Get There from Here" by Mark Arnold; "Worry" by Brendan O'Brien; "Dad and the Gypsies" by Patti Chambers; "Daddy's Little Girl" by Brent Askari; "The Lighter Side of Patricide" by Ben Boyer; "Held Up" by Kerry Logan; "You Were No Accident" by Paul Siefken
    Cast: Lizabeth Allen, Scott Baker, Blythe Baten, Miranda Black, Hamilton Clancy, Walter Cline, Lee Dobson, Bill Green, Karen Kitz, Andrew Lawton, Rachel Leslie, Frank Lewallen, Bradford Olson, Diana Ruppe, Jared Slater, Dan teachout, Rob A. Wilson.
    My favorite of the comedic plays was "The Lighter Side of Patricide" by Ben Boyer. Due to a freak Lay-Z-Boy accident in 1974, a family patriarch (Scott Baker) is left with a recliner cushion spring irremovably lodged in his spine. Since removing it will cause instant death, his son (Rob A. Wilson) is forced to bring him beer and the remote control for the rest of his life. Perhaps it's your own father's dream exactly.

    The very best of the seven are the two serious segments. In "Worry" by Brendan O'Brien, we see an older man (Lee Dobson) about to take his second wife (Karen Kitz) while he agonizes over whether his angry son will show up. The son's girlfriend (Diana Ruppe), or whatever you want to call her — "We don't believe in labels," she explains — arrives nervously before the wedding with news of the missing son. Much is left unsaid about the family history and the resolution of the story, so you'll need to turn the events over in your mind a few times to see what's happened, but ultimately the emotions under the surface are more powerful for the smallness of the clues and the patience it takes us to make them out.

    In the final piece, "You Were No Accident" by Paul Siefken, an expectant dad (Dan Teachout) sits down in front of his camcorder and makes a home video message for his future son. It's sweet, earnest, just goofy enough, and full of humanity, and it's the one that will send your dad out of the theater misty-eyed and profoundly touched that you brought him.

    JUNE 5, 2001
    OFFOFFOFF.COM • THE GUIDE TO ALTERNATIVE NEW YORK



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