In The News: Gay Dads in a Mainstream Play

What happens after #lovewins, after Happily Ever After, when men who have braced themselves to be outsiders for life find themselves on the inside of social acceptance, and enveloped in the normalcy of marriage and family?

“Dada Woof Papa Hot,” currently at the Lincoln Center Theater in New York City, proves this dramatic shift by its mere existence as a play exploring gay marriage and parenthood in a mainstream theater.

In an interview with the magazine “Backstage,” Tony winner John Benjamin Hickey – you may know him from his TV roles in “The Big C,” “Manhattan” and his role in the movie “Pitch Perfect” – tells us what it’s like to star in a play that’s basically about his own life experience.

“I came of age as an actor in New York in the early ’90s,” says Hickey (see photo above, left). Then, socially aware playwrights were bravely tackling the AIDS epidemic in their work – and starring in them is how Hickley built his career. He made his Broadway debut in "Love! Valour! Compassion!” and won a Tony for his performance as Felix Turner in the Broadway revival of “The Normal Heart."

“But the other side of those plays [is that] they were sort of meditating on our place as outsiders – on gay men’s place as outsiders,” says Hickey.

“Dada Woof Papa Hot" is about what it’s like, after all that, to be an insider, raising kids in the city. It follows two gay couples – one older, one younger – through the deepening of their friendship and the inevitable exposure of the hard stuff: sexual tension, generational differences, and what Hickley calls his character’s “melancholy heart,” the heart of a gay man struggling to adjust his place in the world so rapidly changing, even if it’s for the better.

Gays With Kids will publish an interview with the playwright and the director of “Dada Woof Papa Hot” soon.


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