Thursday, January 12, 2012

review - Who's Your Daddy?

CRITIC'S PICK
Who's Your Daddy?
written & performed by Johnny O'Callaghan
directed by Tom Ormeny
@ the Little Victory, Burbank
extended through February 19
When you look at the photo of Johnny O'Callaghan on the poster of Who's Your Daddy? and repeat the title aloud to yourself, all sorts of filthy images come to mind. Is this the tasteless untold story left out of Priscilla Queen of the Desert? Thank heavens, no, and the play does not live down to any negative imagery. This is, in fact, a true story, presented via a rare feat of storytelling that is at once enlightening, thoroughly enjoyable and clean...well, almost, for a reformed gigolo.

O'Callaghan is an Irish lad, in case you couldn't guess, and to tell this story - that takes us from Hollywood to Uganda and back, and then back and forth once more - with any degree of success, it requires a gargantuan sense of humor. Irish are known for their tall tales, so a bit of an exaggeration here and there is welcomed, especially when dealing with the social and political conditions of the impoverished Uganda, not totally unfamiliar to a man growing up poor in Ireland. O'Callaghan, apart from being a truly fine actor, is alluring, sexy and most of all, grounded, genuine in his love of living. Who else would put up so patiently with all the red tape - some apparent and some not - in adopting a child across international and interracial barriers? Playing himself and a bevy of other characters both male and female, his step by step, inch by inch detailed descriptions of the adventures in becoming little Benson's guardian/da are precious and not to be missed. Tom Ormeny's direction has great pacing and Lukan Melkonian's exotic looking flats help to stretch the imagination to new vistas, but it is O'Callaghan that makes all the pieces fit into place ingeniously.

Don't miss this playful gem!
5 out of 5 stars

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