“It used to be women who were supposed to have it all, turns out it’s you guys.”
Janice states to Alan, one half of a husband pair raising a three year old daughter. For Alan and other gay upper middle class residents of Manhattan raising a child, they’re facing the challenges all new parents must face in DADA HOT PAPA WOOF when trying to “have it all.”
About Face Shows Life Changes for Parents
As we enter the theatre, an odd juxtaposed scene lays before our eyes. A fancy dinner table takes center stage, decked out like one of those places you can only dream of getting a reservation at. It’s sitting on top of a colorful, child’s alphabet rug. On the back wall, a minimalist Swedish closet stands very simple, but has teddy bears and toy baskets lined up on top of it.
Here’s where our story begins, Alan and Rob out to dinner with another couple whom they hope will become their new parent friends and with whome they can swap war stories and advice for raising their young ones.
But just as the alphabet rug looms underneath the table, so do the children at home with one or another dad bouncing up during dinner to take a phone call from the sitter checking in on the kids.
Such is the life of a new parent, trying to reconcile your old life with your new one. DADA HOT PAPA WOOF explores the nuances of being a gay parent and also finding how many of these challenges are ones all new parents face.
Giving Space to This Walk of Life
The space given to this play is important as it gives voice to gay parents and the specific challenges that come with it - struggling with IVF and wondering if they're betraying the gay lifestyle by falling into heteronormative patterns among other examples.
Throughout this dialogue heavy show, it’s a balancing act for our characters between making small talk with their various guests and friends and delving into huge significant topics. One moment Alan and Jason will be discussing their various lines of work, writing and painting, and the next Alan is confessing he’s wondering if he even wanted to be a dad.
For this writer, this made the show seem unbalanced and slow moving. When those significant topics came up— infidelity, lack of sex in your marriage, thinking your kid isn’t bonding to you — it instantly grabs our attention. But the dialogue before and how long it takes to get to these juicier moments made the show less gripping.
DADA WOOF PAPA HOT might not be the best fit if you’re looking for a more action driven show or if you’re not a parent yourself. However, this would be a great date night out for new parents as some of the jokes and scenarios might strike a chord with you.
Jos N. Banks
Now through February 16, 2019
Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30pm
Sundays at 3:00pm
Please note: there will be an added performance on Saturday February 16, 2019 at 3:00pm.
1229 W. Belmont Ave.
Chicago, IL 60657
About the Author
Alexis is a theater reviewer, travel bug, media specialist, and burger & beer enthusiast. During the day she works in the advertising business as a senior communications designer. When night falls, or when she can escape to New York, she’s hitting the theaters to see as many shows as she can. And whenever she’s not at her desk or in the audience, she’s out seeking the best burger and beer offerings in Chicago.
Editor's Note: Click here to read more Picture this Post articles by Alexis Bugajski