Already closed | 1h 30m | East Village

All My Fathers

From 26 member  reviews
Members say: Great acting, Absorbing, Intelligent, Ambitious, Thought-provoking

About the show

La MaMa presents this world premiere, a new tragicomedy by Paul David Young, that centers on the life-changing declaration by Young's elderly mother that he is the bastard son of the family pediatrician. More…

From the show:

This surreal, seemingly scripted disclosure instantly rewrites the playwright's devoutly Christian, Southern upbringing. Young, whose life had suddenly turned hyperbolically dramatic, incorporates text from both obscure and well-known family plays such as The Seagull, Oedipus, Well, The Strange Discovery, and All My Sons.

Member Reviews (26)


Great acting, Absorbing, Intelligent, Ambitious, Thought-provoking
Avg Score

Affecting, Innovative, Funny, Engaging

See it if you want to see a play that is equal parts innovation, feeling & fun.

Don't see it if you don’t like characters in a play to break character.

Also I don’t remember the last time I saw a play that was so innovative in ... Read more Read less

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

See it if You want a really smart and inventive play. Treats aging characters sensitively but with a touch of humor.

Don't see it if You’re sensitive regarding old age and dementia as well as cancer.

Great acting, Ambitious, Meta, Poignant, Unconventional

See it if interested in an offbeat, beautifully acted, funny/sad play that encompasses dementia, paternity issues​, deception, dead characters & more.

Don't see it if you prefer a traditional approach without characters breaking the 4th wall & a teasing epilogue that goes on a little too long.

Also All 4 performers are spot on & Deborah Hedwall is extraordinary.The st... Read more Read less

Intelligent, Indulgent, Great acting, Entertaining, Absorbing

See it if you want a play that can only be done as a play. SPOILER It beraks down the fourth wall. Totally enjoyable despite its serous topic.

Don't see it if you want fluff this is not for you.

Fantasy, Unconventional, Realistic characters, Excellent acting, Interesting

See it if you like well developed characters, superb acting & themes of family members attempting to deal with considerable stress.

Don't see it if you dislike frequent flights of fantasy, dream sequences, dead people talking & interacting & some talking to the audience.

Great writing, Great staging, Great acting, Funny, Absorbing

See it if You want to see a solid play in every way. I was totally involved

Don't see it if You want a production with full sets and high tech. This play doesn’t need that to be enjoyable

Disappointing, Resonant, Intense, Great acting

See it if You enjoy family dramas with good writing.

Don't see it if If you don’t like the supernatural brought into the script.

Also I enjoyed the first half of the show very much. In the second half, th... Read more Read less

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

See it if you want to see a powerful and well-acted story about identity and paternity, one of the best off-Broadway shows currently playing.

Don't see it if you want an elaborate show with big production numbers. This is a show with a simple set and four actors.

Emotional, Funny, Intelligent, Riveting, Great acting

See it if Absolutely explosive mother-son dialog, heartfelt exploration of family dynamics, outstanding acting on all 4 counts

Don't see it if You don’t want to watch a very real family drama, with all its concomitant pain and sorrow

Also Let’s hope this play has another life after La MaMa

Great acting, Edgy, Absorbing

See it if Seasoned actors and director take on a family dramady with gusto. Everyone will be able to relate to situations relating to elderly parents.

Don't see it if You don't like family dramas or mental health issues. I liked this play more than I thought it would.

Great acting, Absorbing

See it if You like plays about family secrets.

Don't see it if You don’t like plays that morph (start as one thing and become another)

Also Well acted and well written. I didn’t expect the characters to break t... Read more Read less

Challenging for audience (i mean me), 1 scene too intellectual, Thought-provoking, Ambitious, Mind-blowing portrayal of a bipolar mother

See it if Playwright’s autobiographical work; gay son vs. dying parents & uncertain dad; breaking 4th wall a lot in last scenes; the “mother” actress

Don't see it if .. keeps my jaw dropping in awe; intimate theatre space @ LaMama basement (elevator available); dramaturgic scene is a bit self-indulgent

Ultimately undramatic, Erudite, Beautifully performed, Self-indulgent, All the other family plays

See it if you're fascinated by family plays, DNA tests, meta-theatrics, and strong performances.

Don't see it if you have no patience for autobiographical cop-outs, in which the playwright's stand-in ends the play by discussing what really happened.

Cliched, Entertaining, Absorbing

See it if The issue of parenthood resonates with you

Don't see it if you feel one issue (no matter how well played and produced) is worth an entire play

Intelligent, Absorbing, Ambitious, Great acting, Great writing

See it if If you want to see a well written play about a family and his secrets/unresolved problems with a touch of Pirandello/Freud.... Smartly Done

Don't see it if Not interested in a play about the meaning of being a real father, cancer, dementia and family issues with actors who break the 4th wall

Great staging, Great acting, Disappointing

See it if You like family dramas. The kissing scene at the beginning is quite unnecessary and disturbing. Plenty of intertwined moments.

Don't see it if You prefer more entertaining shows

Also Having a ghost in a story is not something new. "All my fathers" doesn... Read more Read less

Excellent psychological drama with humor and sophistication, probing the vexing question of what our origins mean to us, Intense, Intelligent, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you enjoy serious drama that takes on difficult psychological questions with a sense of dark humor

Don't see it if you want something light. But really, don't miss this: La Mama does it again!!

Absorbing, Intelligent, Great writing, Great acting

See it if You appreciate a well written, well acted drama that touches on dementia and family secrets and conflicts

Don't see it if You want to see a lavish production with a big cast, or want to see a comedy or musical. Also don't see if you are offended by profanity.

Clever, Ambitious

See it if You like plays about family conflict, or plays that constantly shifting the style and structure of the play.

Don't see it if You want a straight forward narrative.

Also Beautifully designed. I see some here live that the play begins to com... Read more Read less

Brave, Thought-provoking, Edgy, Great acting, Ambitious

See it if A gay son revisiting his southern home, mercurial mother, shy father. Good bye fourth wall. Valuable experimental theater.

Don't see it if Straightforward plotting is your cup of tea.

Great acting

See it if You like small ensemble dramas with a touch of dark comedy.

Don't see it if You don’t like plays that experiment with structure and form.

Also Well acted, with a standout performance by Hogan. Personally I was enj... Read more Read less

Great acting, Great staging, Entertaining, Ambitious, Clever

See it if very well staged, excellent lighting design, very good acting. An unusual and inventive plot.

Don't see it if I found the intertextuality and "breaking the fourth wall" parts a tad too forced and self-congratulatory, so to speak;

Also they were still entertaining and clever, it just felt that the author ... Read more Read less

Too meta, Slow, Overwritten, Well-acted

See it if you want to see some excellent acting in a play that bogs down in the playwright's navel-gazing & out-clevering himself

Don't see it if you have little tolerance for a shaggy dog story that refuses to wrap up, or for a dream sequence inexplicably featuring a man in a Speedo

Also No complaints about the acting, which was very good, but the Big Revel... Read more Read less

Memory & coming to terms with our families, especially our parents, sensitively & imaginatively examined ...

See it if you are a fan of Paul David Young's plays (especially "In the Summer Pavilion" & "The Clown Play" at Fringe Festivals). Don't miss this one.

Don't see it if you want to miss the terrific quartet of actors: Richard Gallagher, Deborah Hedwall, Jonathan Hogan, and Brian Hastert. They are excellent.

Great acting, Funny, Clever

See it if You want to see a family dramedy dealing with relationships with older parents.

Don't see it if You want to see a long, large-cast epic dealing with deep insights.

October 7th, 2019
"These early scenes are juiced up to no end by the great Deborah Hedwall as Regina, a malicious sphinx dispensing venom from the comfort of her stuffed chair, when not disappearing altogether into a fog of confusion…a surprisingly nimble and funny fantasia on an issue that affects all of us."
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October 8th, 2019
3/4 Stars "'Sometimes You Can Go Home But Maybe Shouldn't': Paul David Young's drama eventually waxes metatheatrical to no heavy benefit"
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October 13th, 2019
"'All My Fathers' is a semi-autobiographical play that takes detours into dreams, memory, and literary history…it opens up a can of worms that it never figures out how to close. Your enjoyment of it will likely depend upon your tolerance for worms."
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Cast & Creatives (3)