(ABOVE: Craig Wallace Dale photo)
Fatherhood is “magical” and “the best thing that’s ever happened” to most men.
However, let’s face it—there’s a significant jolt to the process…
Take this chorus from Long Gone Daddy:
VOICE 1: Your life is about to change.
VOICE 2: Your life isn’t your own anymore.
VOICE 1: Your life is sooo over.
VOICES 1 & 2: It’s the land of no return!!!!
Long Gone Daddy is Joseph Gallo’s semi-autobiographical play about the comic misadventures of becoming a stay-at-home father here in Hoboken. The show begins its run at the Mile Square Theatre (1400 Clinton Street), with performances from July 20-August 7.
“I moved to Hoboken with one of my college roommates in the late 80s. I now feel like one of the original trailblazers. I still remember walking up Washington Street and only hearing people speak Spanish,” says Gallo.
Over the years, as his life morphed into something completely different, Hoboken certainly did the same. “I’d hazard to say it is the play about modern Hoboken,” says Gallo. “Except for a few scenes with my own Dad, which are all told in flashback, the entire play takes place on the streets of the Mile Square City.”
Gallo is the playwright-in-residence at Mile Square Theatre (MST). His play Two-Man Kidnapping Rule, which was produced by MST and later in New York City at the New Ohio Theatre, was published in Smith & Kraus’ anthology 2012 Best Men’s Stage Monologues and Scenes. Gallo’s other MST productions include: Ya Gotta Believe! in the 5th Annual 7th Inning Stretch; and the extended run of My Italy Story, starring two-time Emmy Award-winner Tom Pelphrey, which later played at the Barrow Street Theatre in New York City.
As a solo writer/performer, Gallo appeared in the original production of My Italy Story at Penguin Rep, which later had its debut Off-Broadway at the 47th Street Theatre in New York. Other solo shows include Whizzy and The Jealousy Piece. He is also a frequent participant at The Moth in New York City where he is a StorySLAM champion.
An astute and proven storyteller, Gallo knows that there are certain unique challenges to Hoboken that make fatherhood more difficult here than in the ‘burbs.
“I had a friend who was recently visiting me from Florida, and we were walking through Hoboken, and a guy walked past us with a kid bouncing on his chest in a Baby Bjorn,” says Gallo, “and my friend asked, ‘Did you do that? Did you have one of those?’ And, of course, I did/had. It was not something he needed in the ‘burbs to raise his kids.” Gallo says, “when you’re in it you don’t even realize that there might be another way to proceed. When I told him we spent nearly a $1,000 on a stroller, he almost gagged.”
Long Gone Daddy is directed by Chris O’Connor—Founder and Artistic Director at MST.
“The opening of MST is one of the most culturally significant things I’ve seen happen in my time here. It’s the beginning of a new era,” says Gallo. “Now it’s up to the good citizens of Hoboken to show MST some love.”
Dads, Moms, or anyone up for an unflinching look at the reality of life in contemporary Hoboken, be sure to check out Long Gone Daddy.
CLICK HERE for ticket information.