Da OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

Photo: Carol Rosegg
  • NY TIMES

  • Opening Night:
    January 14, 2015
    Closing:
    April 5, 2015

    Theater: Irish Repertory Theatre / 132 West 22nd Street, New York, NY, 10011

    Synopsis: 

    Set in Dublin in the 1960s, Da is Hugh Leonard’s Tony-winning classic memory play. Charlie returns to his childhood home after his father’s funeral only to find the stubborn patriarch’s ghost unwilling to leave the house. As Charlie rummages through his father’s belongings, he surrenders to his own memories, both hilarious and wrenching, as the complexity of his upbringing comes alive before his eyes.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF Da

    A Friendly but Willful Old Spirit, Pouring Tea

    Alexis Soloski

    January 26, 2015: If you have to be haunted, you really couldn’t ask for a nicer sort of ghost. The specter at the heart of Hugh Leonard’s semi-autobiographical play Da, revived by the Irish Repertory Theater, pours piping cups of tea and proffers packs of cigarettes. Most of the time he lounges in his favorite armchair, singing snatches of songs and telling jokes. This friendly ghoul is the Da of the title, of course, a retired gardener, jovial and unambitious. Just because he’s been laid to rest doesn’t mean he has any intention of leaving alone his adopted son, Charlie (an adept Ciaran O’Reilly, who has played the role in an earlier revival). Charlie, a successful writer, can hardly wait to zip back to civilized London. But as he sorts through his father’s papers and photographs and unused razors, he’s bothered by a fright of ghosts — not only his adoptive da (Paul O’Brien), but also his adoptive mother (Fiana Toibin), his former boss (Sean Gormley), his younger self (Adam Petherbridge) — crowding around the kitchen table. A memory play with a spectral turn, Da has an exceedingly familiar feel. The cozy set could substitute for a dozen Irish Rep plays. The characters and themes (family, responsibility, loss) seem pretty typical, too. The oddest thing about “Da”: It won the 1978 Tony Award for best play. (That wasn’t the strongest of years.)

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