Donald Moscowitz (Wes Miles) is a struggling actor in early-'80s Manhattan whose career mainly consists of failed callbacks for cat food commercials. His overbearing Jewish parents (Joe Zimmer and Wendy Starkland) seem surprisingly accepting of the fact that their son is a fagela, but they still don’t understand why his homosexuality should stand in the way of him settling down with a nice girl and having kids before Grandma Moscowitz (Jac LeDoux), who has been “dying for 10 years,” finally passes on.
Goldyn’s snappy one-act is the rare show that would go over equally well in a gay nightclub and Miami retirement home. True, the plot strains credulity with its convoluted coincidences, and the motivations needed to justify Don’s ruse aren’t clearly established at the start. However, Goldyn’s cast bring so much energy to the stage that it’s hard to resist going along for the ride.
Designer Jaime DeHay’s living room set, which is more substantial than we’re used to seeing on the Footlight Theatre stage, effectively evokes the era, and the script is peppered with period references to poisoned Tylenol, Epcot Center and Phil Donahue. The biggest anachronism would seem to be Donald's parents' progressive embrace of his sexual orientation, but Zimmer (making a must-see return to the Orlando stage after returning from Japan) and Starkland are so spot-on in their operatic kvetching that you’ll likely laugh through any logical lapses.
With copious references to vaginal moisture, circumcision and hymens, the humor is a bit raunchier than a Three’s Company rerun, but Goldyn directs the play with the propulsive pace of a classic three-camera sitcom, as the Parliament House’s well-lubricated live studio audience provides the laugh track. If Daddy Issues were in NBC’s old Thursday-night lineup, it might run for six seasons, but it’s only in Orlando through Aug. 26; it would be meshugenah to miss it.