Past Reviews

Regional Reviews: Los Angeles

Daniel's HusbandThe Fountain Theatre
Review by Terry Morgan

Bill Brochtrup and Tim Cummings
Photo by Ed Krieger
It's always a nice moment when a work of art surprises me in a positive way. It reminds me of one of the reasons I love theater in the first place: the primal pull of story. It's the delight of seeing something new when one was expecting something else. Michael McKeever's play Daniel's Husband is not a piece predicated on a big twist, but it goes somewhere I wasn't quite anticipating, and I appreciated that. The Southern California premiere at The Fountain Theatre serves the play brilliantly and features a superb cast.

Daniel (Bill Brochtrup) and Mitchell (Tim Cummings) have a good life together as a couple. Architect Daniel has put together the perfect home for them, and Mitchell is having financial success in his writing career. Mitchell's agent Barry (Ed F. Martin) is visiting their home with his young date Trip (Jose Fernando), who mentions that he thinks Daniel and Mitchell are the ideal gay married couple. Mitchell responds that he doesn't believe in marriage, which is quickly revealed to be a sore spot between him and Daniel. Following a visit from Daniel's mother Lydia (Jenny O'Hara), the two men have an argument that changes their lives.

Cummings is great as Mitchell in a performance that ably displays multiple aspects of his many talents as an actor, from smart, playful wit to powerful dramatic emotion. Brochtrup is terrific as Daniel, a perfect host with a seemingly perfect life, but is particularly sharp in a scene in which he cuts loose and reveals the character's frustration. O'Hara excels as Lydia with a high-energy introduction and an especially unexpected sequence in which she suddenly has a revelation about her life. Martin delivers wry humor and quiet kindness as Barry, and Fernando is good as Trip, who is stronger and smarter than he initially seems.

Director Simon Levy gets excellent, subtle work from his cast, and benefits significantly from DeAnne Millais' elegant living room set. McKeever has a skill with humorous turns of phrase, having a character quip, "Don't look at me with that tone of voice" or describing something as a "clown car of demons," and this helps alleviate some of the seriousness of the story. The dramatic scenes are the most memorable, however, and McKeever successfully creates strong emotional moments while creating an intriguing discussion about gay marriage and legal issues.

The Fountain Theatre has created a very fine production of Daniel's Husband, a lovely surprise that local theater-lovers should seek out.

Daniel's Husband, through June 23, 2019, The Fountain Theatre, 5060 Fountain Ave., Los Angeles CA. Tickets and information are available at

The Fountain Theatre presents Daniel's Husband by Michael McKeever. Directed by Simon Levy. Lighting Designer, Jennifer Edwards; Scenic Designer, DeAnne Millais; Sound Designer, Peter Bayne; Costume Designer, Michael Mullen.

Daniel Bixby: Bill Brochtrup
Mitchell Howard: Tim Cummings
Barry Dylon: Ed F. Martin
Trip: Jose Fernando
Lydia Bixby: Jenny O'Hara