Off Broadway (and sometimes Broadway) Reviews and Information.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Irish Redemption In The Eyes of a Ugandan Child

Who’s Your Daddy? follows a  rich tradition of Irish storytelling in theater.  The storyteller in this case is Johnny O’Callagahan playing with the tradition in some interesting ways.
Johnny’s story concerns his last minute trip to Uganda with a friend, a trip taken more out of boredom than anything else.  His friend, a Hollywood acquaintance armed with little more than a camera, a dream of a documentary and an inflated sense of self-importance, was on a mission to an orphanage near the Congo / Rwanda border.  Johnny relates the trip, and the circumstances that prompted it, in humorous detail.
Johnny O'Callagahan in Who's Your Daddy at The Irish Repertory Theatre

Once there, Johnny was stunned by the conditions, but his story isn’t one of a sudden transformation into Florence Nightingale.  It is a refreshing tale of hope and a boy that brings a sense of wonder back to Johnny’s life.  And Johnny, like anyone who would decide on a whim to go to Africa instead of look for his lost dog, decides to adopt the boy – because, well it was the thing to do.
The process turns out to be much more complicated and extensive than Johnny expects.  And here is where the story delivers to it’s teller, a fork in the road.  Johnny is at the whims of various tribal elders in Uganda and government bureaucrats in the United States.  Johnny O’Callagahan’s journey through the labyrinth of laws and customs will require a determination and perseverance than he has never shown in the past.  It is full of false promises, dead ends and well meaning people deciding that a single man in Hollywood might not be the best guardian for a young Ugandan boy.  And Johnny has proven, so far, to be less than dedicated to a cause.
Who’s Your Daddy? is a great story, told with wit and energy that is not normally associated with the stereotypical Sad Irish Tale.  Mr. O’Callagahan forsakes the dark stage and single spot that normally comes with these stories as well, preferring a stage with various places to perch and lean and pace.  He (and Director Tom Ormeny) give physical immediacy to emotional rollercoaster this experience prompted.
It is a tale not to be missed.

Who’s Your Daddy?
Playwright: Johnny O’Callagahan
Director: Tom Ormeny
Cast: Johnny O’Callagahan

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