‘Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Mamma’s Hung You in the Closet and I’m Feelin’ So Sad,’ a lethally Freudian, Wes Anderson-like play at the Annex Theater

April 8 2015 City Paper

For Arthur Kopit’s “Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Mamma’s Hung You in the Closet and I’m Feelin’ So Sad,” Annex Theater transformed its Chicken Box home into a pastel Pee Wee’s Playhouse, complete with dreamy furniture and looming, pink walls, as well as a colorful cast of characters central to the play’s symbolic plot: a set of Venus’s-flytraps, a piranha who prefers to eat Siamese kittens, and the taxidermied husband of Madame Rosepettle (Sarah Heiderman).

Rosepettle has lugged all of the above on a tour of the Caribbean with her stuttering son Jonathan (Martin Kasey), who she obsessively hopes to save from all the evil sexual desire that is taking over the world, even picturesque Port Royal. When given just a few rare moments away from his mother, Jonathan opens up to Rosalie (Allyson Washington), who seems, at first, to be a shallow character, but Washington eventually allows her to completely unfurl as a seasoned, teenage prostitute. If Wes Anderson took Freudian dynamics to a lethal level, and turned his penchant for soundtrack classical—here provided by Patrick McMinn— he’d have this performance of “Oh Dad, Poor Dad” showing soon at a sold-out theater near you.

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