Happy Father's Day

In honor of all the drama-loving daddies out there, here's a list of my top five favorite stage fathers. (Note: they were not necessarily chosen for their parenting skills.)

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5.: Max, The Homecoming. The kind of father that could make you wish your grandmother had an abortion.

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4.: Daddy Warbucks, Annie. The dad every little girl in the 1970s wished she had... Even if her real dad bought her the tickets. And the original cast recording. And took her to Broadway to see the show. In a limo. And to Tavern on the Green for dinner afterward. Sorry, dad.

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3: Tevye, Fiddler on the Roof. A father whose ability to irritate his daughters (and still make them feel guilty about it) transcends both time and race.

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2.: Willy Loman, Death of a Salesman. Of course. This was the character that--if you hadn't yet realized your parents weren't ever going to change--brought some very bad news.

1.: Lear, King Lear. See, it's not just your kids; they've been ungrateful for centuries.

It's actually not so easy to find meaty dramatic daddy roles. Mothers are a piece of (usually dried out, tragic) cake. Medea, Gypsy, Grey Gardens, The Glass Menagerie, Hamlet, that's 10 seconds of thought, and the very tip of the frigid maternal iceberg. Unless you count absent, dead or theoretical dads, or uncles in a paternal role, there are precious few of them from which to choose--although come to think of it, Eurydice's Father in Sarah Ruhl's version of the myth might have to take the unofficial sixth position, dead or not. 

Anyway if you have a different top 5, by all means, send it in, and happy father's day!

June 14, 2008 12:55 PM | | Comments (1)


We are prisoners of our fathers.

Much of the upcoming election commentary has focused on demographics, never questioning influence.

My generation, now in it's mid-forties, will suddenly find itself with a role to play in the nations politics.

The generation after us knows no racial or religious boundaries, the generation before us lived by them. It is this stark contrast which molded our thinking.
My generation believed themselves the first above the 'dirty' subject of race, but unwittingly we are caught in it's idle gaze. Our Father's, our teachers, the people who influenced us the most, raised us in households where we laughed at the previous generations foliables, yet found them omni-present in our lives.

Can we break the invisible chord which binds us to our fathers' reasoning, it will be interesting to see in November, or are we prisoners of the age old idiom...

"There's nothing wrong with that kind of thing, each to his own, I just wouldn't do it myself...."

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