Daniel's Husband
Closed 1h 35m
Daniel's Husband
85

Daniel's Husband NYC Reviews and Tickets

85%
(393 Reviews)
Positive
94%
Mixed
5%
Negative
1%
Members say
Great acting, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Great writing

About the Show

The story of a seemingly perfect gay couple with different views on marriage, this unflinching look at how we choose to tie the knot—or not—returns Off-Broadway.

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Member Reviews (393)

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79
Great acting, Great staging, Intelligent, Profound

See it if If you want a well written play that deals with love,pain with a great set.

Don't see it if You do not like gay theme plays .or plays with tragedy in it.

90
Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Great writing, Thought-provoking

See it if u want to see five authentic, nuanced perfs in a deftly-written, challenging, captivating, startling, moving, entertaining cautionary play.

Don't see it if you're too homophobic or uninterested to appreciate an emotional debate on the challenges of same-sex marriage in the post-ban era. Read more

Critic Reviews (43)

New York Stage Review
October 29th, 2018

"A reflective, straightforwardly-composed piece, 'Daniel’s Husband' is a modern-day problem drama involving a white, middle-aged, gay couple...The playwright cogently lays out his cautionary story in 95 minutes...If sometimes the drama seems too tidily expressed, it soberly considers a timely topic. The bleak conclusion is softened by a flashback that proves to be touching as well as ironic. Under director Brancato’s well-paced guidance, good acting breathes life into the play."
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TheaterScene.net
November 13th, 2018

"What begins as light comedy in Michael McKeever's well-made play 'Daniel's Husband' becomes deadly serious in this cautionary tale. If the plot seems familiar, this is a return engagement of a successful play that appeared at the Cherry Lane Theatre in April 2017. The same engaging and proficient cast returns and while designer Brian Prather remains the same, the costume and lighting designers are now different…It still packs an emotional wallop in the way events turn out."
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Theater Pizzazz
October 28th, 2018

"A funny, if somewhat benign domestic comedy, and it’s pretty entertaining. But when...the subject of gay marriage comes up, the comedy takes a back seat...I’m not sure the play entirely recovers from the shift in tone, going as it does from light comedy to heavy drama...The honesty and sincerity in McKeever’s writing add a definite plus to the events of his play. Even if it would benefit from a bit more heft behind its ambitions...you may very well find 'Daniel’s Husband' worth the trip."
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Front Row Center
October 29th, 2018

"Merging the two genres is not an easy feat to pull off, but no problem for the uber-talented Michael McKeever. His characters are distinct and each one is drawn with compassion, clarity and truthfulness...Kudos has to be given to director Joe Brancato who keeps the pace moving perfectly...I also have to mention the stunning performances by the entire cast. It is ensemble acting at its finest."
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Front Mezz Junkies
October 28th, 2018

"On second viewing, the knowledge of where this piece is heading did alter the experience, but I wouldn’t say for the worse. It gave me insight into the shimmers of what was coming, weaved most delicately into the upholstery...'Daniel’s Husband' expertly walks us through the complicated world where some hard fought human equality rights were won, but not desired by all...The writing is clearly defined, although moments feel a tad scripted."
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Broadway Blog
October 31st, 2018

“It is bad form for critics to leave a performance early, but there is no rule stating that they can’t wish to leave before the final bow...I made that wish...Then McKeever’s play changed in an instant — and I was hooked...The ensemble is superb, bringing truth and authenticity to McKeever’s high stakes drama...’Daniel’s Husband’ embodies what quality playwriting should do. It surprises, engages, entertains, and challenges your own worldview without being didactic...I’m glad I stayed."
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Times Square Chronicles
November 3rd, 2018

"The chemistry between Spahn and Montelongo is evident and adds to the heartbreak of the piece. Spahn is also delivering a heart-wrenching performance and brings heart to this piece, but it is Montelongo who has the longer journey. From a confident individual to an emotionally drained man, we feel his pain...Joe Brancato’s direction allows us to slowly peel away the layers...'Daniel’s Husband' is well written and raises issues that are prevalent for any kind of marriage."
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Gotham Playgoer
October 28th, 2018

"It would be easy to dismiss Michael McKeever’s play as the theatrical equivalent of a gay Lifetime movie...When catastrophe strikes, Mitchell has to pay a high price for his choices. Montelongo makes the most of this climactic moment...Joe Brancato’s direction is unobtrusive. While this cautionary tale is both manipulative and predictable, it is elevated by good actors who make the characters and relationships convincing and by high production values."
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Manhattan Digest
December 19th, 2018

“Stellar writing, superb directing and exquisite acting...McKeever’s rich and poignant dialog presents familiar characterizations and story line in such a way that they’re fully experienced before they’re recognized. Direction by Brancato shapes the piece and guides its actors perfectly...’Daniel’s Husband’ achingly reminds us to never take what we have for granted. Go see it and be infused with gratitude.”
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G
December 15th, 2018

“Few plays make you think about and debate a play the way ‘Daniel's Husband’ does...It focuses on gay marriage, but it is much, much more than that...’Daniel's Husband’ is well written...The banter at times seems a little too scripted...Everyone has an opinion; the characters all have a different way they go...It is easy to watch and thoroughly enjoy regardless of one's sexual preferences...Brancato's assiduous direction has these actors clicking in the lighter times as well as the tense.”
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Plays to See
October 31st, 2018

"As quickly as questions arise in Michael McKeever’s drama, they are shrouded in a plot resembling a procedural Lifetime film, redeemed primarily by the commitment of its cast...Then tragedy strikes. Even if I were to place a spoiler alert here, it wouldn’t weigh on your experience of the play, since the plot takes a sharp turn from here...The conversations at the center shift into a nasty battle of logistics, rather than a revelation of the changes that must be occurring in the characters."
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The Theatre Times
November 10th, 2018

"A poignant, topical chamber piece...The play begins as a thoughtful examination of various contemporary gay topics, from same-sex marriage to intergenerational relationships to commitment issues...The play flows effortlessly from the beginning to the central conflict between first the two lovers and then between Mitchell and Lydia...The main drawback of the evening is the occasionally awkward plot development...The cast is of a piece and is consistently committed."
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The Huffington Post
November 16th, 2018

“Though ‘Daniel’s Husband’ begins as a situational comedy, the play’s latter half is a modern morality tale about not taking love and family for granted...The show’s climax is one of the most heartbreaking scenes you’re likely to see off-Broadway this season. ‘Daniel’s Husband’ also boasts nuanced yet emotionally charged performances from its ensemble cast."
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T
November 9th, 2018

“’Daniel’s Husband’ is a touching, heartwarming, funny, impactful, and sad story that may be all too familiar to many. It deals with what happens when a couple isn’t married and they haven’t taken care of the proper legal steps they need to in case of a medical emergency. It also addresses family drama and the differences in individual beliefs when it comes to marriage...The play (and the acting) definitely hits you in the feels...It will leave you with plenty to think about."
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Out Magazine
October 29th, 2018

“The show starts off a little rocky, attempting to do too much...The dialogue, which attempted to be fun and playful, was...forced and not always believable. Instead of feeling like a conversation that gay men actually have, it felt more like what straight people assume gay men talk about at a dinner party (even though it was written by a gay man)...The play really begins to shine once an unexpected misfortune hits...By the time the curtain closes, I guarantee you’ll have shed many tears.”
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I
October 28th, 2018

“’Daniel’s Husband’, a new play by McKeever...Is a portrayal of gay relationships, of choices, of values, respect and honesty...We meet four friends at a dinner party...All seems fairly cordial on the surface until Trip erroneously refers to Mitchell as ‘Daniel’s husband’, a reference which immediately brings anger and vitriol and a refusal by Mitchell to believe in the sanctity of this union...Plot lines focus on gay relationships, legal and moral rights, health issues and ‘happy families’.”
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I
October 29th, 2018

“Riveting Play...’Daniel’s Husband’ focuses on a couple who happen to have conflicting views regarding relationships....Humor and glib conversations bleed into a stark and stunning twist during the 95 minute emotional roller coaster ride, cocooned in the intimate theater setting...A compelling, beautifully packaged play of true pathos, intelligence and romance.”
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The New York Times
April 6th, 2017
For a previous production

"The dialogue is occasionally artificial and a few plot points contrived, yet it’s still a tear-jerker and a heart-yanker...The writing isn’t always plausible...But you believe in the relationship at the play’s center. The sentimental 'Daniel’s Husband' works best as a romance...Montelongo is more saturnine, and Spahn is more manic. Together they become a couple that you want to cheer for even as the play makes you put down your pompoms fast."
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Time Out New York
April 5th, 2017
For a previous production

“McKeever has a keen ear for dialogue…But a Lifetime movie–style plot development causes the play to take stark turn, and the chance for subtlety and complexity goes out the window. This play has a lesson it wants to impart, hard. Thanks to an excellent ensemble, you feel deeply for these characters, even as you realize you're being emotionally manipulated…The polish of the delivery only makes the piece feel even more like an after-school special for grown-ups.”
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Theatermania
April 4th, 2017
For a previous production

“For a play that wears its agenda on its sleeve, it is surprisingly heartrending…As with the best of such stories, we take it to heart and think about what we would do in a similar situation. A lot of this has to do with an incredibly moving performance from Montelongo…Brancato has directed his actors to thoughtful and emotional performances...While a braver dramatist would leave room for a convincing opposition or murkier circumstances, McKeever makes his case forcefully and effectively.”
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TheaterScene.net
April 20th, 2017
For a previous production

“If anything, you might feel that ‘Daniel's Husband’ is terminally cute or realize that it can never completely transcend the sitcom attributes and tendencies it shares. Still, it's hard not to laugh throughout most of the proceedings, and then to cry in the end. Directed with verve and panache by Joe Brancato, it's also performed with consistently fine results by its five-member ensemble.”
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Theatre is Easy
April 4th, 2017
For a previous production

"It initially seems as if a sly commentary on contemporary gay culture might be just what playwright McKeever is going for...McKeever’s characters certainly get more complex as the play gets more serious. The five actors deserve much of the credit here...But as much as I want to champion this play, a few things give me pause...It teases us with a much-needed discussion before using scare tactics to convince us of the best way to be gay."
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Theater Pizzazz
April 4th, 2017
For a previous production

“Michael McKeever is a seasoned and brilliant writer, and 'Daniel’s Husband' is a powerful look into the world of gay couples…This ensemble of fine actors is seamlessly woven together through a tapestry of multi-level themes via the fine hand of director Joe Brancato who, like the actors, are each devoted to telling the truth and exalt the human experience. ‘Daniel’s Husband’ will remain with you as a powerful piece of writing and reflection.”
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Front Row Center
April 5th, 2017
For a previous production

“There is a major spoiler, which I’ll do my best to circumvent, that comes halfway into the evening and which transforms this light dramedy into a bleak and angry soap opera cum public service announcement. Still, the production is impeccably acted and perfectly paced, so one cannot help but be drawn into the dark action…Whatever message the playwright was hoping to bring to the surface gets muddied by the results of these characters’ actions, or the lack thereof.”
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Stage Buddy
April 17th, 2017
For a previous production

"From its invitingly funny opening to the unbearable hurt of its twist, 'Daniel’s Husband' brings to the stage a uniquely raw and emotional portrayal of a modern relationship rocked by the unthinkable. In Joe Brancato’s capable hands as a director, this truly exquisite production, heartbreaking and captivating, is a must-see this spring...Each character is so well-developed, and each performance so rich, it’s impossible not to be sucked into their world...Nothing short of breathtaking."
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Front Mezz Junkies
April 16th, 2017
For a previous production

"McKeever’s complex and engaging new play...As neatly directed by Brancato, we are thoroughly engaged in this couple, loving and caring for them, waiting for the dilemma to present itself...The writing is clumsy and scripted at times, as it doesn’t always feel real, but the debate isn’t one-sided either. Both sides are well stated and explored. It’s a beautifully crafted plot, expertly realized, that leaves us in shock. Devastatingly intense right up to the final moments."
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T
April 4th, 2017
For a previous production

“The opening scene is meant to be funny...It could not be more television sit-com in conception and dramatic realization…Mr. Wheeler gives his oft maligned character a depth and authenticity that is refreshing and welcomed…Mitchell is not a likeable character and that makes connecting to Mr. McKeever’s play more difficult…Unfortunately, because of the shallow characterizations, it is difficult to care for any of these characters despite their potentially important conflicts.”
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New York Theater
April 19th, 2017
For a previous production

"'Daniel’s Husband' becomes an odd and simplistic cautionary tale. Only the acting under Joe Brancato’s direction saves us from utter authorial strong-arming...Just as Lydia and Mitchell wind up warring with one another, so do the two halves of the play. Both wars are undermining—and avoidable. Had McKeever begun 'Daniel’s Husband' with Daniel’s illness, 'Daniel’s Husband' might have been a wholly affecting drama."
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Theatre's Leiter Side
April 8th, 2017
For a previous production

“The play, trenchantly directed by Joe Brancato, received a rousing reception the night I went but, for all its pleasantries and the inherent interest of its subject, its by-the-numbers contrivances in order to make a point left me numb…What might have made for an interesting debate about gay marriage devolves into dramaturgic schmaltz in which Mitchell and Daniel's relationship becomes involved in litigious matters that a little foresight could easily have resolved.”
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The Wrap
April 5th, 2017
For a previous production

“Only marginally better [than ‘Gently Down the Stream'] thanks to Brancato, who directs his fine cast to play against type. Holbrook turns the evil mother into something other than a shrew. As the partner who doesn’t want to marry, Montelongo makes a lot of sense when he says he has no interest in aping the heterosexual lifestyle. And Wheeler’s considerate care-giver turns every cliché about the young gay twinkie on its head…‘Daniel’s Husband’ and ‘Gently,' perhaps, are the price of liberation.”
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DC Metro Theater Arts
April 14th, 2017
For a previous production

"The cast of five excellent actors spins out Mr. McKeever’s intricate and organic dialog so that we are always on the alert because it is full of surprises, all of which stem from truth...I found it totally absorbing, cumulatively very moving, and ultimately thought-provoking...Joe Brancato’s direction is fluid and tight, so that all viewpoints are expressed with fervor, even passion by the different characters...It all adds up to a powerful 90 minutes of live theatre."
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Off Off Online
April 4th, 2017
For a previous production

"McKeever’s comedy-drama about the still-new era of gay marriage is cleft in two—part one: comedy, part two: drama—and both halves are effective, if you’re willing to accept some questionable behavior on the part of the title character...Melding the two is a substantial challenge for director Joe Brancato, and he does very well, aided by a cast that knows when to turn up the heat for the big moments and when to tone it down...It’s Mitchell’s journey that might raise questions of credibility."
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Out Magazine
April 10th, 2017
For a previous production

"The tone is extremely funny and light, then takes a wild turn toward the dramatic when something happens to one of the main characters...In going from breezy cocktail chatter to devastating dramatics, McKeever performs an impressive tightwire act, and his cast is deft with every turn."
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Act Three - The Reviews
April 4th, 2017
For a previous production

"When an unexpected event occurs that literally tears at the fibers of their relationship and beings, we learn the true colors of family and friends (kudos to über adorable Lealand Wheeler (Trip) and Barry Dylon (Lou Liberatore)…Incredibly humorous turns devastatingly tragic in a mere 90 minutes. Sometimes we argue about concepts and principles and forget there could be (as slight as the chance could be) some real-world consequences to our actions.”
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Theatre Reviews by John Clum
April 21st, 2017
For a previous production

"McKeever has crafted his play brilliantly, moving from witty banter to argument to crisis. There were a lot of laughs in the first half and a lot of sniffling during the denouement. Yet I could not help thinking how stupid the couple was...Brancato has paced the play effectively and the cast couldn't be better...It's not a masterpiece; it's an old-fashioned drama built to please. I don't mean that in a condescending way. It was a pleasure to experience such a well-made play."
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Nitelife Exchange
April 4th, 2017
For a previous production

“A stunning play. This is a work that’s not only profoundly moving, but offers a wealth of insight into human nature…Brancato has worked brilliantly with the material and his actors, creating a beautifully paced piece of remarkable authenticity…This is a work that presents an all too rare opportunity to experience the creative brilliance of a playwright who not only has something to say, but whose insights into the human condition can be a powerful stimulant.”
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Norwalk's Hamlet Hub
September 28th, 2016
For a previous production

“Director Joe Brancato has paced his expert company artfully, confidently, sensitively…Tension rides in everyone, and especially in you, that smart one, in the audience. Playwright McKeever has had the audacity to begin his tragedy as a comedy and landed a poignant success, bringing everyone in his audience, canes, walkers, wheelchairs and all, to their feet.”
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T
April 24th, 2017
For a previous production

“McKeever’s predictable tale feels manipulative and often contrived with basically stereotypical characters used to craft the playwright’s opinions…Although the actors are likable and their work earnest, you never feel a chemistry beyond friendship…The performances in Brancato’s staging all lack emotional depth so the play turns overly talky...Without a passionately layered subtext, the evening fails to engage or resonate with authenticity."
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Daily Beast
April 4th, 2017
For a previous production

“A profound look at love and commitment and the uncertainties of life…Extremely well-written…It would be wrong to reveal too much, because playwright McKeever takes such a powerful and unexpected turn that you are left gasping…Plays with a social message can sometimes feel more pedantic than dramatic. But this beautifully written and powerfully acted show avoids that problem.”
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Gay City News
April 5th, 2017
For a previous production

"'Daniel's Husband,' perhaps the most intriguingly titled play on the New York boards this season, shines a light on this rarely examined minority. But does the insightful dramedy, by Michael McKeever, live up to the promise of its tantalizing title? Absolutely...Director Joe Brancato has elicited fine performances from the gifted ensemble. The increasingly distraught Mitchell is rendered with astute emotional elasticity by Matthew Montelongo in a deeply felt, heartrending turn."
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B
April 8th, 2017
For a previous production

“The stock characters began to flesh out in unexpected ways, the familiar banter became less pat…Then everything changed, and with a dramatic plot point, ‘Daniel's Husband’ became both a topical play about gay marriage and a subtle, unflinchingly savvy character study…Terrific performances from everyone onstage make it hard to choose standouts…On top of being a damn interesting play, ‘Daniel's Husband' also benefits from its fantastic set by Brian Prather.”
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NYC Theatre Addict
April 15th, 2017
For a previous production

"'Daniel’s Husband' is not a very good play. It is a predictable 'we don’t know what we got until it is taken away' play. The characters and dialogue are simple, which is a blessing against all the 'too gay' plays that do more making fun of gay men than shedding light on them. 'Daniel’s Husband' was like a really good Lifetime movie on stage...The best scenes of all were between the primary couple when all the friends and relatives were gone."
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Rockland Times
October 10th, 2016
For a previous production

"'Daniel’s Husband,' written by Michael McKeever, is a look at gay marriage and the reaction of all those involved. It gets your attention. I rate 'Daniel’s Husband' Three out of Four Stars!"
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