(L-R): Bjorn DuPaty as Tee and Gerald McCullouch as Colin in Daddy.

With a simple deconstructed set and a strong trio of actors, the new play Daddy directed by David Hilder is a thoughtfully provocative amuse-bouche for the New York stage. The work opens up with a focus on the lives of two gay friends: Colin, played by Gerald McCullouch most famous for his role as Bobby Dawson on CSI Vegas, and Stew, played by Dan Via who also penned the play, and despite their friendship and intimacy they live separate lives in the bedroom. The introduction of Tee, played by Bjorn DuPaty, a young intern in Colin’s office and shortly afterward his bedroom, complicates matters between the friends and the lives of all three men.

The play’s real strength is its terrific dialogue and quick moving story which is so good it makes Dan Via’s performance, which was spectacular on its own, that much better. It’s rare these days to see someone actually pull off the writing/acting duo without questioning either role, but his naturalistic performance is the heart of the work. Gerald McCullouch’s performance is also worthy of note with a role that seems to fit him like a glove and paired with Via the duo approximate a sense of reality more than any play in recent years. The play also manages to address questions about gay marriage, adoption, and the conventions of unconventional relationships through the action without forcing or shoehorning the issues into the work.

Daddy will run through February 11 at TBG Arts Center’s Mainstage Theatre on West 36th Street and is well worth checking out. For more information, go to their website www.daddytheplay.com/

Tim Needles

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