Faust’s New Father’s Day Play ‘Dad and Me’ Gets Laughs And Heart From An Odd Couple
Fathers and sons always have interesting relationships, and that dynamic, in an “Odd Couple” type of fashion, is being explored by veteran actor/director Don Faust this weekend, making his area debut with a new show of his creation, “Dad and Me,” which will be performed at 7 p.m. June 17-18, 24-25 and 3 p.m. June 19 and 26 at Metropolitan Community Church of the Quad Cities, located at 2930 W. Locust Street, Davenport.
The show, written and directed by Faust, is described as “an original adult comedy with heart” that is recommend for adult and/or teen audiences only. The plot involves Brian, a carefree gay guy, working at the only gay bar in town, but his world is turned upside down when his aging father comes to live with him in his small apartment. Blood may be thicker than water, but first, they have to survive each other. The all-star cast includes: Dana Moss-Peterson, John Turner, Adam Cerny, Chris Sanders Ring, Sara Meyer, Kevin Keck, Jim Strauss and JJ Wielenga. Production staff includes: Cynthia Safford (Stage Manager), Jordan L. Smith (Producer) and Craig and Jacqueline E Cohoon (Tech).
Tickets are just $5 and can be paid for at the door (cash or check only). Reservations are suggested as seating is limited and you can nail them down by calling the church at (563) 349-2675.
Recently, Faust chatted with me about his new, original play.
Q: How do you feel about the show?
A: I couldn’t be more proud as to how it’s turned out. The cast and crew I’m working with have been nothing short of amazing, as far as their commitment, their dedication, and their creativity to turn this dream into a reality.
Q: Is this your first performance?
A: Yes! It’s the world premiere of “Dad and Me.” Better get your tickets now! They’re only $5 each, but when it opens on Broadway, you’ll pay fifty times that much!!
Q: What gave you the idea for the show?
A: My mother-in-law was living in her own home, but wanted to move into an assisted-living residence. She was anxious to sell her home because she could no longer keep it up, but of course, just like in the play, we didn’t know when a room would open up. She never had to move into one of her kids’ homes, but that’s when my creative juices started flowing. What if it were a father, moving in with his less-than-responsible gay son? What kinds of issues would they have? The story just kind of went from there.
Q: What was it like putting it together?
A: Exciting but scary. It’s one thing to have a dialogue on my head and on paper, but actually hearing it out loud was different. A few years back, I used to belong to a play writer’s group, and so I was able to sample some of the lines with them, but it wasn’t finished then.
We never had a full read-through until right before we started rehearsals. I told my cast and crew to bring “a pencil and their patience,” as we worked through line changes, and making the dialogue flow better. It was a joint effort. We all had our ideas about what worked, and what didn’t. We had most of the major changes done early on, with some minor tweaking right up through opening night.
The most sobering change came about just a few days ago. One of the scenes involved Steve, (the bar owner at the gay bar) teasing Roger (the newly hired bartender) about needing a billy club there at the bar to handle incidences like “stabbings and shootings.” After last weekend’s shootings at the Pulse in Orlando, it was no longer a joke, and so we had to change the line. There was no way we could make light of something like that.
Q: What do you hope people will take away from it?
A: I can honestly say that I’ve fallen in love with each one of these characters, and maybe the audience will, too. I see them as wonderfully flawed, but ultimately loveable. Maybe people will see a piece of themselves in the characters, or maybe they’ll recognize a family member or two. We don’t get to choose the family we’re born into. We just get to try and do the best we can, often with people who, in spite of the fact they may look like us, can feel like aliens. It’s about getting past the outside differences, and seeing how alike we really are underneath. If nothing else, I hope people will be entertained and enjoy a few laughs, and maybe even a few tears, and walk out feeling better than when they came in.
Q: Do you have any special plans for it being staged on Father’s Day?
A: My 90 year-old dad is coming from Colorado opening night. I hope he likes it!
Q: Anything else to add?
A: Just a huge thank you to all who made this show possible.
For more info about the show, check out https://www.facebook.com/events/1094525137292839/.