New York | 2h 15m | Already closed

Dada Woof Papa Hot

From 31 critic and 73 member reviews
Members say: Great acting, Relevant, Entertaining, Thought-provoking, Intelligent

About the show

A gay couple, who fought to adopt and are exploring the challenges of gay parenting, find themselves thrust into the pre-school parent pool, which causes anxieties to rise in their lives. More…

Alan and Rob are an older married couple with a three-year-old daughter and a life they fought decades to be allowed to lead. But Alan has begun to feel an attraction to a younger gay dad, his closest straight friend’s marriage is disintegrating before his eyes, and his daughter Nicola seems to prefer Rob, who’s taken to parenting without any of Alan’s insecurities. In the course of one school year, three couples struggle with what it means to be married with children at this head-spinning cultural moment.

Entertainment Weekly

"Peter Parnell’s excellent, clear-eyed, and thoughtful 'Dada Woof Papa Hot' is the first major theatrical production I’ve seen that explores this modern reality of gay life... 'Dada Woof Papa Hot' is funny, sure, and it’s insightful, and it’s ably directed by Scott Ellis on a moving, interlocking, real-estate fantasy of a set by John Lee Beatty. But what makes the play most remarkable is how directly it speaks to today’s weirdly bifurcated, marriage-and-negotiation gay moment. Full Review

The Good Men Project

"The play is wonderful, at moments superb–and it has literally the cast and production not just to die for, but to run down to Lincoln Center and see. On first glance, though, that is, the first few minutes of it, I wasn’t that positive…The dialogue starts off too snappy, too TV sitcomy…Then something started to happen. Within a few brief scenes, the characters started to drop off their New York monied affectations and become real." Full Review

The Huffington Post

"In 'Dada Woof Papa Hot,' Parnell combines characters we know pretty well -and a situation we know pretty well- in a manner which makes it all seem fresh, involving and convincing. And enjoyable." Full Review

Critics at Large

"The play is beautifully structured; Parnell has worked it out with precision. At some points (in act two) the writing gets a little self-conscious: you can hear the characters, especially Alan, voice the kind of analysis of their own behavior that we should be left to do on our own. But that’s a minor flaw, like the too-pat ending...The show, which is deftly designed, is an early highlight of the New York theatre season." Full Review

Mommy Man

"The play is very astute in detailing the differences between gay and straight marriages…There’s a bit of gratuitous nudity, but Parnell is more interested in giving us our own 'Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf' than going for easy ticket sales. His characters don’t succumb to stereotype and he doesn’t sell them out for cheap jokes, which is probably why I found them so relatable." Full Review

New York Magazine / Vulture

"'Dada Woof Papa Hot' is not a mystery, at least not in terms of its plot, whose pieces fit together as smoothly and satisfyingly as the sliding puzzle platforms of John Lee Beatty’s sets. The psychological underpinnings of the men’s marriages (and the straight couple’s, for that matter) are not, however, so simply rationalized...It’s a beautiful performance, no less so for seeming to be no performance at all." Full Review


"Directed with finesse by Scott Ellis, Parnell’s play examines the dynamics of marriage and fatherhood with clear and touching insight... Breen and Hickey have an easy, affectionate chemistry, and each delivers a wonderfully sensitive performance." Full Review

Bob's Theater Blog

"The play examines interesting questions of what has been gained and what has been lost with the arrival of gay marriage and gay parenthood... The production is top-notch with an excellent cast, a wonderful set by John Lee Beatty that elegantly reconfigures to half a dozen locations, appropriate costumes by Jennifer von Mayrhauser and smooth direction by Scott Ellis. Parnell’s snappy dialogue is a treat. The play does sag slightly towards the end, but not enough to spoil it." Full Review

The New York Times

"Mr. Parnell’s literate dialogue fits snugly amid the stylishness. There are a few occasions when a Significant Topic trots a little too obviously into the room. But for the most part, the play’s themes are handled with nuance and insight...The cast is impeccable. The play does not require much in the way of acting pyrotechnics, but establishing the nuances of relationships without the benefit of such opportunities makes the performers’ work all the more impressive." Full Review

Talkin' Broadway

"In this incisive if not quite riveting 100-minute play by Peter Parnell, four gay men who not that long ago hungered for the opportunity to be regarded the same as straight couples learn that maybe their desires and dreams weren't as developed as they thought... Parnell's investigation of the gay commitment question feels fresh, but this subplot does not, and comes across as an awkward attempt to evoke equivalency that's not needed for the play to function." Full Review


"Even if the title suggests a gay comic romp, the play is decidedly a serious – though often funny and only occasionally pedantic – eye-opener for those who casually assume that gay married couples are in the same situation as heterosexual couples…It’s a lot for one play to juggle, but Mr. Parnell has done a very good job of defining each of the characters and the flailing relationships, and Scott Ellis directs it all with a steady hand." Full Review

Broadway Blog

"Parnell’s script is filled with zippy one-liners...'Dada Woof Papa Hot' does offer smatterings that may remind of you of the works of Terrence McNally or A.R. Gurney. But where those playwrights’ works tend to transcend circumstance and offer rich characterizations and broader social commentary, 'Dada Woof Papa Hot' feels as though its relevance is as fleeting as its intermissionless running time." Full Review


"Infidelity, closeted-ness and other martial issues creep into the picture, but what works about the play is primarily the expertise with which director Scott Ellis's sold cast delivers Parnell's sharp and entertaining dialogue. It's a bit of style over substance, but 'Dada Woof Papa Hot' has enough that's interesting about it to keep the night fizzy." Full Review


"Men, don’t take your husbands to see 'Dada Woof Papa Hot' if either or both of you are on the fence about having children. Playwright Peter Parnell presents a candid, at times amusing look at what can happen when a child takes over a happy gay household. Exhaustion ensues, friendships fade, libidos drop, sex becomes a chore or a bore, and desperate parents might resort to desperate measures. It turns out gay parents are just like straight ones — although at times it seems like Parnell thinks... Full Review

The Wrap

"If you’re single without children and not young, and feel that your life is a major mistake, it’s recommended that you see Peter Parnell’s new play...You will cherish your decision to be alone and childless. Not only do the characters in Parnell’s play tell us what hard work it is to be in a committed relationship, they fully succeed in making it look like total drudgery...What makes 'Dada Woof' novel as a play about marriage is that two of the three couples are same-sex." Full Review


"It's a perceptive, often amusing comedy about having kids... Not a lot happens in 'Dada Woof,' but, knowingly directed by Scott Ellis and well-acted – Hickey gives a nicely nuanced performance, while Breen and Pankow provide droll humor — it offers a piquant view of how having kids changes people's lives, from rearranging their social circle to making acceptance at the right preschool, at least among these privileged New Yorkers, the prime goal of life." Full Review


"The plot twists here aren't especially surprising; and given the show's exclusive focus on monied, white, urban professionals, 'Dada Woof Papa Hot''s portrait of the modern gay experience does feel limited. Parnell does a superb job humanizing the anxieties of these men, caught between being cultural paragons and being all too human." Full Review

Theater Pizzazz

"Gay or straight, the problems are the same, which isn’t news to any of us straight folks who have raised children…So, nothing new, which tends to elicit some audience chuckles or moments of depression depending what life has offered up. In spite of some of the boredom listening to a lot of chatter about children, Scott Ellis has pumped up the glib dialogue and there are enough laughs to go around, along with a major amount of putting on our psychoanalyzing caps." Full Review

The Associated Press

"Staged with smooth economy by Scott Ellis, a pleasing production opened Monday night...Parnell accurately covers commonalities between gay and straight parenting, even as he also delves into differences...As the couples struggle with their relationships while trying to be good parents, Alan works through some of his parental fears in a sweet analogy to 'Peter and the Wolf' that any parent can relate to." Full Review

NY Theatre Guide

"Scott Ellis has directed a first-rate cast in this piece…John Lee Beatty’s sly sliding sets are nothing short of miraculous. They move the action seamlessly. I just wish they were in service to a better play — because, finally, there is nothing new or truly revealing about 'Dada Woof Papa Hot'…This is a handsome show with fine acting, but it doesn’t really offer any fresh insights about what it takes to make a family." Full Review


"Peter Parnell's play isn't quite the groundbreaker it wants to be…His intention to take his new look at life in today's more open-minded world is valid, but it seems forced in this play…Despite my reservation 'Dada Woof...' is more often than not enjoyable. Director Scott Ellis sees to it that the actors smoothly navigate these diverse views on parenthood and commitment." Full Review

AM New York

"Neither particularly compelling nor memorable in terms of its storytelling...'Dada Woof Papa Hot' offers deeper characterizations and a probing examination of the strains of parenthood." Full Review

Broadway & Me

"Both Peter Parnell's 'Dada Woof Papa Hot,' and Mark Gerrard's 'Steve' take on the more contemporary issue of gay parenthood...I found 'Steve' to be fluffier than 'Dada Woof Papa Hot' but I enjoyed it more (plus, as a black woman, I didn't particularly appreciate the latter's condescending reference to a Jamaican nanny)." Full Review


"The main problem with 'Dada Woof Papa Hot' is that, despite the brilliant acting of all concerned and Parnell’s sharp ear for the language of each person, it’s difficult to empathize deeply with these characters, all of whom appear to be well off, well educated and by no means victims of circumstances. They wanted to be married. They wanted to have children and then complain endlessly about the vicissitudes of their actions." Full Review

Time Out New York

"'Dada Woof Papa Hot' is meticulously assembled, sleekly directed by Scott Ellis, and credibly acted...It is sincere in intent, faithful to the world it depicts, and as drama rather dull: the wringing of well-manicured hands...Many audience members at Lincoln Center, gay and straight, may recognize themselves in the people onstage, and there's nothing wrong with that. But surely art can do more than hold a mirror up to the Upper West Side." Full Review

Resonant, Relevant, Intelligent, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you care about new original dramas dealing with relevant themes of today.

Don't see it if you don't care about being enlightened.

Thought-provoking, Relevant, Great writing, Great staging, Great acting

See it if You want an insightful look at relationshops of all types. Perfect, subtle performances and intelligent writing. A truly unique set

Don't see it if Constant talk about sex and full-frontal nudity offend you

Resonant, Intelligent, Absorbing, Relevant, Profound

See it if you ever get the chance.

Don't see it if you are uncomfortable with lovey-dovey stuff.

Relevant, Great acting, Exquisite, Entertaining, Absorbing

See it if you like shows about families and careers and life's ups and downs and how our relationships grow inside all of that.

Don't see it if you are not interested in watching people exist in sometimes complicated and messy relationships.

Entertaining, Delightful, Intelligent, Masterful, Great writing

See it if You want to see a smart, funny, and powerful drama.

Don't see it if You do not like shows that deal with difficult and awkward relationship issues.

Great staging, Great acting, Funny, Clever, Absorbing

See it if Excellent acting. Some of the best I've seen. Especially loved John Benjamin Hickey in this. Really enjoyed the play. Lots to think about.

Don't see it if You don't like gay themed or very New York city themed shows.

Intelligent, Original, Refreshing, Relevant, Clever

See it if You like trendy, relationship dramedies.

Don't see it if You are against gay marriage.

Absorbing, Great acting

See it if very well acted plays about relationships and how dynamics change when people become parents and enjoy great ensemble of actors.

Don't see it if Dramas with subjects of intimacy, relationships longing, and acceptance are not to your liking

Touching, Sweet, Great acting, Relevant

See it if You enjoy domestic dramas with everyday themes like parenting & relationships. You appreciate sincerity. You like well-written plays.

Don't see it if You don't like domestic dramas. You don't want to see same-sex relationships on stage. You want a play with more worldy issues.

Resonant, Thought-provoking, Great staging, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if You wanted something so badly and then you got it and then you wonder why you wanted it and if you still do. You like modern sets.

Don't see it if You don't want to see a drama about infidelity, relationships & marriage, or about families and growing up. You prefer happy-go-lucky shows.

Relevant, Romantic, Thought-provoking, Funny, Entertaining

See it if You like new plays about modern issues, especially gay parenting.

Don't see it if You don't like plays about gays and/or wealthy, white New Yorkers and their problems.

Funny, Great writing, Relevant, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if gaining perspective of gay parenting in NY will interest you.

Don't see it if gay issues bother you.

Great acting, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Original, Refreshing

See it if You want to see real life gay issues play out on stage

Don't see it if You're homophobic

Relevant, Thought-provoking, Cliched, Absorbing

See it if like thinking about how and what makes a family. About what makes some couples perservere

Don't see it if you are narrow minded about what makes a family

Romantic, Resonant, Thought-provoking, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you want to see a well-written and acted drama about parenting or relationships.

Don't see it if you have issues with nudity on stage.

Relevant, Great acting, Clever, Absorbing

See it if You enjoy good acting and can ignore an overly sentimental ending.

Don't see it if You have a bug up your ass about white upper middle class gay characters

Original, Resonant, Thought-provoking

See it if Parenting issues are the same for all of us, straight, LGBT and the problems that arise are similar for all.

Don't see it if You are averse to LGBT and gay marriage and do not see all the array of "family"

Cliched, Resonant, Indulgent, Great acting, Relevant

See it if you're interested in a drama on parenting challenges & the difference between a gay man's life in the 80s & now, & don't mind full frontal

Don't see it if characters who are a little too into themselves & their decidedly first-world problems will grate on you. I enjoyed it, but they tested me.

Entertaining, Cliched

See it if You are part of a gay family. You want to think about the future for Gay families (rather than look back at the tragedy & civil rights)

Don't see it if You don't understand some gay cliche's.

Relevant, Intelligent, Absorbing, Great acting, Thought-provoking

See it if You want to see an intriguing look at the double edged sword of gay equality. Lots of laughs, tons of heart & topical as hell.

Don't see it if You're uncomfortable seeing men kiss and openly show love for each other.

Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Great staging, Great acting, Ambitious

See it if you enjoy plays about the complexity of modern relationships led by powerful performances

Don't see it if You don't like thought-provoking dramas about marriage and attraction and sex. You don't like male nudity on stage.

Intelligent, Great acting, Cliched, Thought-provoking, Quirky

See it if you like a show that discusses gay life after equal marriage rights, aims to provoke some thoughts, and contains good acting and staging

Don't see it if you want to see a show that has something deeper than the superficial and the obvious

Relevant, Intelligent, Great staging, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if You are interested in exploring issues of gay parenting and marriage in a well crafted and extremely entertaing play.

Don't see it if The subject matter is of no interest.

Relevant, Great staging, Absorbing

See it if You enjoy great acting. You also are interested in the travails of (upper) middle class families raising children.

Don't see it if You are turned off by the subject matter.

Entertaining, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if Like Steve, another really good play about being gay in the 21st century.

Don't see it if Can't think of any reason not to see this play.

Cast & Creatives (14)