Interview: Playwright David Goldyn's Having DADDY ISSUES

West Coast premiere of David Goldyn’s Daddy Issues opens on October 14th at the Complex

By: Oct. 04, 2022
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Interview: Playwright David Goldyn's Having DADDY ISSUES

The west coast premiere of David Goldyn's Daddy Issues opens on October 14, 2022, at the Complex in Hollywood. David directs the cast of Hannah Battersby, Jonathan Fishman, Noa Lev-Ari, Sherry Michaels, Josh Nadler, James Seifert, Pamela Shaw and Solly Werner.

Thank you for taking the time for this interview, David!

Daddy Issues opened off-Broadway in 2016. Has your script been tweaked any for this current production?

The script definitely has been tweaked! Loads of improvements. After five different productions, you learn what works and what has to be changed. I think the script is in its best shape ever.

You had a number of productions of Daddy Issues in Florida. What prompted you to finally cross the continent to make its west coast premiere?

Many of the reviews in a glowing way alluded to it having major sit-com potential: The Times Square Chronicles called it, "Hilarious and Heartfelt... a sit-com waiting to happen, and the Orlando Weekly said, "If Daddy Issues were in an NBC Thursday lineup, It would run for six years." We thought that maybe the powers-that-be in Los Angeles should see it and make that happen. So here we are.

Have you worked with any of Daddy Issues' creatives or cast before, maybe from the earlier plays you produced in Los Angeles?

Interview: Playwright David Goldyn's Having DADDY ISSUES Everyone in the production is brand new to me. And what a wonderful cast of zanies we have! It is wonderous how different the show is after different actors tackle it. Some of the costumes and props have traveled from the original New York production

What was the original inspiration that sparked the creation of Daddy Issues?

My parents knew I was a gay man, but they relentlessly asked me to straighten myself out and give them a grandchild. They thought if Irving Shenkel's son could do it, so could I. I felt profoundly hurt when time after time they didn't accept me for who I was. They badgered me relentlessly to give them a grandchild, and each time it threw me into the throngs of depression. I was tired of them asking. I was tired of feeling "less than."
I was taking an acting class with Kathy Loughlin, a casting director in Orlando, and she taught a "believability" exercise where you take a lie and mix it with a lot of truth. I tried that believability exercise on my parents, telling them I had a son from a girl I had dated in college. A girl they had met. So it all rang very true to them. They believed me for a good 40 minutes, even asking me to meet their grandchild. Then I finally came clean and told them the truth.
Interview: Playwright David Goldyn's Having DADDY ISSUES After doing this to my parents, they never asked again. I guess I finally had set boundaries. The hard way.
As for the play, I thought what If I had kept this up longer and introduced them to my 10-year-old son and reunited them with the birthmother? That was the impetus that sparked the creation of Daddy Issues.

What is your three-line pitch for Daddy Issues?

Donald Moscowitz has overbearing parents. They disapprove of his lifestyle and the only thing that will make them happy is for him to give them a grandchild. To get them off his back, he hires the ten-year-old kid from downstairs to play his son, and his two best friends, a female impersonator and a zaftig best girlfriend, fight over who will play the birthmother! What could go wrong?

Is there any character in Daddy Issues that you must identify with? Donald, maybe?

Interview: Playwright David Goldyn's Having DADDY ISSUES I am definitely Donald. That's my story up there. There are aspects of me in some of the other characters as well. As I get older, I realize I have inherited some of my dad's judgmental ways, my grandmother's loving ways, and my mom's humor and hysteria.

If you were to submit your central character Donald on an online dating site, what qualities of his would you list?

Loyal, true, caring with a flair for the dramatic.

What flaws would you definitely omit?

Perfectionist, overly sensitive, and a pleaser.

What gives the most gratification: Receiving the audience's adoration at curtain call? Overseeing a challenging but successful pre-production? Typing 'THE END' in the solitude of your office? Watching your cast nail your directions? Seeing the lightbulb moment of a student you're teaching?

I think what gives me the most gratification is that the more I do this play, the more "healed" as a human being I become. For example, when I first wrote this play, I was incredibly angry at my father. Now that I have actually played my father, Sid, in a production and sat through and directed five productions, I realize he was coming from a place of love and protection. They really thought I'd be happier leading a more structured life. The healing that came from the writing and performing of this play is profound.

You earned your Masters in theatre at NYU. What was your master thesis on?

Interview: Playwright David Goldyn's Having DADDY ISSUES Oh. So long ago. I compared The Taming of the Shrew with Medea and Who'se Afraid of Virginia Woolf. So dramatic! I also had to direct a play: I directed Bringing it all Back Home by Terrance McNally.

Any plans to bring Daddy Issues to other cities?

If someone wants to produce it, sure!

What's in the near future for David Goldyn?

I have written a TV series, "Black Jack the Moulin Rouge." It is about the integration of the Las Vegas Strip. It is not autobiographical in any way and was totally researched and true. A big change from Daddy Issues. It was optioned by Global Genesis, but the option has expired so I am back to shopping it around.
Tovah Feldshuh has expressed interest in playing Marion in Daddy Issues when it goes to sit-com land. She is currently on Broadway in Funny Girl having a blast!
I have also been cast in the Full Monty and 42nd Street as an actor at the Lauderhill Performing Arts Center in Fort Lauderdale.

Thank you again, David! I look forward to experiencing your Daddy Issues.

For tickets to the live performances of Daddy Issues through November 13, 2022; click on the button below: