Posted in theater, year end bests

Year end review

Looking back on the year about to pass is a time-honored activity. Critics make lists of the past year’s favorites and share them. Seems like a good time for T and B On the Aisle to do that, too.

Okieriete Onaodowan, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Daveed Diggs, Anthony Ramos, and the company of Hamilton. Photo by Joan Marcus.
Okieriete Onaodowan, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Daveed Diggs, Anthony Ramos, and the company of Hamilton. Photo by Joan Marcus.

While Hamilton remains my perfect 10 (it feels like I posted at least 10 reflections on it), I have a deep appreciation for the literate and show-bizy silliness that is Something Rotten! (which got more than a few mentions from me as well.)

And a new fave has hit town with the opening of the Broadway version of the Mike White-written Jack Black movie, School of Rock. team that brought it to Broadway includes Sir Andrew Lloyd Weber (music), Glenn Slater (lyrics) and Julian Fellowes (book) with choreography by Joann M. Hunter and scenic-costume designs by Ann Louizos. School of Rock-The Musical really rocks.

In the straight play category, there are several contenders for year’s best. Taylor Mac’s Hir and Stephen Karam’s The Humans are at the top of the list. (The latter is headed for Broadway in 2016.) Peter Parnell’s Dada Woof Papa Hot is an entertaining and well-devised show, as well.

More here…


Posted in drama, love story

Hot… Woof

Ambivalence is a component of committed relationships that those to whom we are married may not wish to acknowledge.

It’s not the ambivalence of being attracted to someone other than our mate; that’s pretty much par.  There is an ambivalence of caring, of not allowing our regard to wander.

In Dada Woof Papa Hot, playwright Peter Parnell acknowledges that we may be overwhelmed about how much attention we need to pay to each other when we love.

It’s a subtle point, subtly and sensitively made in Dada Woof Papa Hot, a play about parenting and coupling, at LCT’s Mizi E. Newhouse Theater through January 3rd.

Rob (Patrick Breen) and Alan (John Benjamin Hickey) are mature dads to a vey young little girl, Nicola, looking to share their experiences of parenting with other gay dads. To that end, they meet Scott (Stephen Plunkett) and Jason (Alex Hurt),  fathers with two boys at their daughter’s school, for dinner.

In rehashing the evening with their old friends, Michael (John Pankow) and Serena (Kellie Overbey in an exceptional performance,) Rob and Alan are not sure what to make of their new friends. Jason is an artist, young and hot. Scott seems very conservative, they tell Serena and Michael.

Like Rob who is completely enamoured of Nicola, Serena is absorbed in her children’s lives. Michael and Alan have a more distracted view of parenthood. Michael, a writer, is drowning his disappointment over a failed theatrical production in an affair with Julia (Tammy Blanchard), a mother of one of his kids’ schoolmates. Rounding out the cast is the off-stage voice of Nicola, played by Tori Feinstein.

The acting is uniformly wonderful; the entire ensemble performs with delicacy and discernment. Tammy Blanchard turns a small role into a minefield à la an episode of Real Housewives.

Scott Ellis directs with the same finesse that his actors show to the material in Dada Woof Papa Hot.

For more information and tickets to Dada Woof Papa Hot, please visit