The small intimate theatre was a perfect setting for the one man show put on by Jay Nachman. My Dad Is Now Ready For His Spongebath, is an ode to Nachman’s father, who passed away after a fight with lung cancer.
It is clear that Nachman loves his Dad very much. So much so, he wrote a 60 minute tribute to him filled with heartfelt stories, jokes, and reflections on what it’s like to have a parent who is terminally ill.
Afterwards, I wanted to call my father to tell him I love him, and make a donation to cancer research.
While the show was certainly sad (how can something about dying and cancer not be?) Nachman does a good job of incorporating a joke or two whenever he can, and does it appropriately.
He doesn’t only focus on the battle his father had with cancer, however. He also spends quite some time talking about the lady friend his father moved in with after his mother passed away, whom he refers to as “The Piece of Work.” As you can tell, Nachman was none too pleased with “The Piece of Work” and lets us in on his inner most thoughts about her (feelings he never shared with his father, but clearly would have liked to). He tells of her most outrageous moments, and even does an impression of her that I have to believe was somewhat of a caricature.
He also touches on the frustration he felt about not having his mother, who was married to his father for 47 years before she passed away, around to take care of his Dad during the illness. That means that “The Piece of Work” was the primary caregiver, and his brothers were the only ones responsible for their father.
By all accounts, his parents had a great marriage, his dad was well liked by his family and friends, and had a pretty great life. His Dad was probably ready to go when he died, Nachman admits, but it was him who wasn’t really ready to let him go. That’s why I think this story is so interesting. Nachman’s father was around for his entire childhood and a good chunk of his adult life. He had a long and great relationship with him that was only cut short because, well, people aren’t immortal. But that doesn’t make it any easier.
Though he didn’t seem totally comfortable as a performer, Nachman takes a conversational approach. I would describe his performance as a mixture between a stand up comedy routine and a eulogy. Clearly he loves putting on this one man show, and the fun he has with it really shines through.
At the end of the show, Nachman asks the audience if they have any questions. He is totally relaxed and quite witty when he thought off the cuff to give his answers. While his performance was good, at times it seemed mechanical. It would have been great to get this more relaxed Nachman the entire time.
My Dad is Now Ready for His Spongebath only ran for 2 performances, and is now closed.
Andy rates this 3 out of 5
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