In Jeremy O. Harris’ searing new play “Daddy,” Franklin (Ronald Peet), a young black artist on the verge of his first show, meets Andre (Alan Cumming), an older white art collector, and before long their feverish link deepens into an irresistible bond. But when Franklin’s Christian mother, Zora (Charlayne Woodard), decides that her son is in peril, she enters into a battle of wills with Andre over the soul of the man they both call baby. Basquiats and Birkins, gospel and pop, and fantasy and reality collide around a Bel Air swimming pool in this deeply surreal exploration of intimacy and identity. Danya Taymor (PASS OVER) directs this wildly theatrical and dangerous world-premiere play by the recipient of The Vineyard’s 2018 Paula Vogel Playwriting Award, in a co-production from Vineyard Theatre and The New Group.
This play contains nudity and graphic sexual content.
Presented in the Romulus Linney Courtyard Theatre at The Pershing Square Signature Center (480 West 42nd Street).
Drama Desk Award – Matt Saunders, Outstanding Set Design of a Play
Drama Desk Award – Montana Levi Blanco, Sam Norkin Off-Broadway Award
Lucille Lortel Award – Charlayne Woodard, Outstanding Lead Actress in a Play
Drama Desk Award – Claire Warden, Outstanding Fight Choreography
Drama Desk Award – Tschabalala Self, Outstanding Puppet Design
“A provocatively brilliant, brilliantly provocative, new play. Impeccable cast.”
— Barbara Schuler, Newsday
“A BRILLIANT NEW PLAY!
MAGNIFICENT. WE MIGHT BE LIVING THROUGH A GOLDEN AGE OF NEW AMERICAN PLAYS.
Set designer Matt Saunders’s rendition of a Bel-Air manse and pool mesmerizes. In a remarkable performance, Cumming never loses his vampire cool. Peet’s performance takes this young man to a place that the Edward Albee of “The American Dream” would fully appreciate.” — Robert Hofler, The Wrap
“”DADDY” IS AN IMPORTANT, MUST-SEE WORK.
With its trenchant inquiry into black and white relationships and the historical dynamics that influence them, the play packs a wallop. A safe place for uncomfortable discussions about race in America.”
— Pete Hempstead, TheaterMania
“SMART AND GRIPPING.
Alan Cumming leads superb cast in provocative melodrama. Charlayne Woodard and Ronald Peet are transfixing. A stunning performance from Woodard. “Daddy” makes for highly compelling theater, exploring issues of race, sexual identity and contemporary art while remaining grounded in a dramatic power struggle.”
— Matt Windman, AMNY
“BRILLIANT! THERE IS NOTHING AS INVOLVING AND THOUGHT-PROVOKING
ON THE NEW YORK STAGE RIGHT NOW.”
— Tim Teeman, Daily Beast
““DADDY” IS A THEATRICAL ACHIEVEMENT OF THE HIGHEST DEGREE;
a bold, experimental, political, and important work of theater that will not soon be forgotten. It is a perfect example of the power of theater and is the exact embodiment of the type of art we should be making right now. Gripping, modern, and powerfully political. Here, as in SLAVE PLAY, [Harris] deals with themes of race and sexuality in a hauntingly trenchant manner. The writing, acting, direction, design, and music are all flawless and combined they create a work that is nothing short of a masterpiece.”
— Christian Lewis, Medium
“MY HEART BELONGS TO “DADDY.” AN AMBITIOUS, INTELLIGENT, AND IN-YOUR-FACE PROVOCATIVE PLAY,
rendered astonishing under the direction of Danya Taymor and the terrific performances of its cast.”
—Jonathan Mandell, New York Theater
““DADDY” IS INVIGORATING, PROVOCATIVE, AND OFTEN WILDLY ENTERTAINING.
A surfeit of cunning insight — on art, sex, power, faith, subjectivity, and coming of age from the margins — is far more than one can reasonably expect from even the most established and revered playwrights in American theatre, much less one who’s not yet out of graduate school. Fortunately for us, [Harris] is just getting started.”
—Naveen Kumar, Towleroad
““DADDY” HAS SOME OF THE MOST MEMORABLE MOMENTS AND EXCHANGES YOU’LL SEE AND HEAR ON STAGE THIS YEAR.
There can be no denying Harris’ gifts as a writer. An extremely bold first-class
production under the inventive direction of Danya Taymor. Tommy Dorfman makes a fine stage debut. Charlayne Woodard is incredibly brilliant.”
—Brian Scott Lipton, CitiTour
“A searing revelatory peek into the world of dominance, control, human behavior, emotional fragility, religion and art. Alan Cumming is Intense and remarkable. Charlayne Woodard is outstanding. Hari Nef is electrifying. In the sensitive, skillful and loving hands of director Danya Taymor, the production and performances are impressively real and jolting.”
—Sandi Durell, TheaterPizzazz
““DADDY” IS AN EXTRAORDINARY PIECE OF STORYTELLING.
A MASTERFUL WORK OF ART THAT DEMANDS TO BE SEEN. A MONUMENTAL WORK OF BOLD GENIUS,
a searing, audacious investigation into the creation and ownership of both art and people. Phenomenal staging. Inspirational vocal music and arrangements. Peet makes a major breakthrough as Franklin, giving a brave performance. Cumming is utterly charming as Andre.”
—This Week in New York
“HARRIS IS A MASTERFUL PROVOCATEUR. HILARIOUS, EXCITING AND SERIOUSLY DISCOMFITING.
ANYONE WHO CARES ABOUT THE PULSE OF THEATER OUGHT TO WELCOME HIS ARRIVAL.
He has already marked out distinctive theatrical territory for himself at the radioactive crossroads
of race, sex and pop music. Dazzled by the panache and vision, and yes, the daring, raunchy subversiveness of this new dramatic talent.”
—Jonathan Kalb, Theater Matters
“JEREMY O. HARRIS IS A REMARKABLE VOICE OF HIS GENERATION. “DADDY” IS WORTH SEEING.
Cumming and Peet are a remarkable pair. Lee Kinney’s foreboding original score and sound design punctuates the action with driving intensity. ”
—Keith Paul Medelis, Theatre is Easy
“HARRIS HAS A VITAL VOICE AND IS A TALENT TO WATCH.
Kahyun Kim in a touching turn, exposes her character’s shallowness and vulnerability almost simultaneously.”
—David Sheward, TheaterLife.com
“HARRIS DOES MORE THAN COLOR OUTSIDE THE BOX — HE REBUILDS THE BOX FROM THE GROUND UP.
All bets are off from the moment this play begins. We are on a rollercoaster ride directly through the hearts of these characters. There is a sort of electricity that these actors create — this is a superb ensemble. A surprising but perfect addition: a gospel choir of some immense talent and strengths.”
—Tulis McCall, New York Theatre Guide
““DADDY” WILL NOT LEAVE YOUR HEAD FOR A WHILE, NOR WILL THE QUESTIONS THIS PLAY ASKS.
Danya Taymor’s direction, is playful, thought provoking and so watchable. The whole cast creates characters who make us laugh, makes us cringe and make us wonder about humanity. Bravo!”
—Suzanna Bowling, Times Square Chronicles
“Daddy” is supported by grants from the Tobin Theatre Arts Fund and the Venturous Theatre Fund of the Tides Foundation.