A ROOSTER IN THE HENHOUSE
Written by and Starring JOHN O’HERN
The Lion Theatre at Theatre Row
410 W. 42 St.
(212) 239-6200 or www.telecharge.com
September 17 – October 4, 2003
Directed by MARK S. GRAHAM
Lighting Design GREG MacPHERSON
Stage Manager JENNIFER G. BIRGE
Press Representative OPR/ORIGLIO PUBLIC RELATIONS
John O’Hern’s play, A ROOSTER IN THE HENHOUSE, is a new entry into the theatrical genre of the one-person show. As with most of these solos, Mr. O’Hern recounts the times of his own life, specifically from the time his wife decided to become pregnant with the couple’s first child through to the night, several years later, when baby number two was conceived.
In telling his tale, which is really about his still socially unique stint as a stay-at-home father, O’Hern plays all of the characters we meet. Included in this long roster is his wife, Lisa, a handful of patrons from the local pub, a birthing class instructor, two OB-GYN doctors, etc. In doing so, O’Hern seems at ease in conveying some rather intimate moments to the crowd, and always imbues his stories with a healthy sense of humor. The reaction of the audience when I attended A ROOSTER IN THE HENHOUSE was tepid at best, but it still rang clear to me that with the right crowd, the laughs would be sidesplitting.
As with much comedy, so much is in the hands of the crowd. Mr. O’Hern has a little more to work with than the average stand up man, with lighting effects, music and a few essential props added to make this a play and not merely a routine. At the core, however, it is all him. He laughs at himself for having the crappy go-nowhere job that barely made ends meet as clearly as he beams with pride as he tells of Lisa’s quick rise up the corporate ladder. Her success, especially financially, was the catalyst for the choices the couple made in terms of childcare. Rather than telling only of their life, however, Mr. O’Hern’s ROOSTER taps into the larger social phenomenon of planning the pregnancy, and all things surrounding it, with precision, that has emerged in recent times.
Very honest, very real, and not only for the parents out there!
- Kessa De Santis -