Father, Son, & Holy Coach Review - Life is a Football Game

If someone told you that life is a football game, would you believe him? Playwright/performer John Posey has done such a fine and funny job of convincing me that I can finally see the similarities. Dad Sanford’s life revolves around football and his five minutes of fame when he won the game single-handedly in driving rain and sucking mud for the Tupelo, Georgia team - or did he? And Dad’s dream is for his son to become the biggest, baddest football hero ever. A book about Knute Rockney just happens to be lying around the entire time that Junior is growing up - and is the only book that Dad allows in the house. Even Humpdy-Dumpdy must play second fiddle to Knute.

 

John Posey - Photo by Ed Krieger

At the ripe old age of five, Junior Sanford is sent on an Easter egg hunt with dozens of bigger and stronger kids with the message that he must find the golden egg and win - despite all odds. Just like Knute and the Gipper. High school becomes one long football game (with a hysterical date during adolescence thrown in for good measure), and college is more of the same. Until the unthinkable happens. Hero Sanford gets injured - badly - in a game. Dad’s dreams take a nosedive, but finally Clever Sanford can pursue his true love, architecture.

 

John Posey - Photo be Ed Krieger

Posey’s memories of the Deep South comingle with father-son relationship issues in this fresh look at fanaticism in football - and how football may really be molding the young. Posey manages to play all 20 roles in this solo performance - and does so with ease and humor. Rapid-fire character changes keep the audience glued to their seats, while very funny lines keep the laughs flowing. This reviewer happened to be sitting next to a group of adolescents boys during the performance. It was clear as a bell that they related to just about every scene in a very personal way. In fact, this show might be a clever way to lure younger theater-goers, especially boys, into the theater for a possible life-long commitment.

 

John Posey - Photo by Ed Krieger

Pete Hickok’s set was perfect for the show, with engaging projections by Yee Eun Nam and just-right lighting and sound by Donny Jackson and Dino Herrman respectively. Last but certainly not least is Terri Hanauer’s able direction, which manages to keep the production in focus and, at the same time, gives enough latitude to Posey so that he can inject his own special ingredient into the happenings. To find out what Posey learned from FATHER, SON, & HOLY COACH, you’ll have to see the show.

 

John Posey - Photo be Ed Krieger

FATHER, SON, & HOLY COACH runs through March 20, 2016, as a guest production of the Odyssey Theatre, 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90025. Performance are at 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and at 2 p.m. on Sundays. Tickets are $25. For reservations, call 323-960-7724 or go online at www.holycoach.net.

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