WHO’S YOUR DADDY?
nytheatre.com review by Loren Noveck
Who’s Your Daddy? is like
sitting down for coffee with a gifted stand-up comedian, and getting a
personal tour through her interior world. Wendy Spero is very, very
funny and so, not surprisingly, is her one-woman show. The piece uses
Spero’s home movies and family journals to help tell the story of a
fatherless woman who only begins to understand what she’s missing as she
watches her day-job boss (with whom she has a strange, semi-fatherly,
semi-buddy relationship) become a dad himself. Spero and director
Anthony King use her conversational, informal performance style, and the
intimate space (Westbeth Community Center), to maximum advantage, so
that the audience feels welcomed into Spero’s stories and psyche.
August 15, 2003
All the individual anecdotes in the piece are hilarious, especially the ones featuring her sex-therapist mother. (I’m still chuckling over a story involving Spero as a teenager getting frank sexual advice from her mother. Another, featuring her boss, a phone booth, and Hugh Grant, has to be heard to be believed.) But the show as a whole feels a little unfinished. I left thinking that Spero has only begun to tell the story of her renewed search for a connection with the father she has never known. There seem to be plenty of opportunities to expand upon the piece in all directions—humor, pathos, and even exposition (and when was the last time you found yourself wanting more exposition from a play?). Many times, a glimpse of an avenue for further exploration would pop up, be mentioned for a sentence or two, and then vanish.
Clocking in at just over half an hour long, Who’s Your Daddy? is short, sweet, and to the point. But Spero is such an engaging storyteller and performer that I found myself wishing she’d stray from the point more often, and give us more. I hope she continues to develop the piece, and I hope I have a chance to see it again if she does.