Thursday, November 27, 2008

JESUS MY BOY featured in The Province

by John Dowie
Pacific Theatre
Nov 28 - Dec 27
Tickets: PT website / 731-5518 /
Directed by Sarah Rodgers. With David Adams, Sheree Plett, Jeremy Eisenhauer.

Famous dad opens up about his family
Joseph delivers insight into what it was really like to raise a kid named Jesus

Lynn Mitges, The Province
Thursday, November 27, 2008

Joseph just doesn't get much attention. In fact, just about everyone is focused on his wife, Mary, and his newborn son, a baby named Jesus.

Maybe gold, frankincense and myrrh are not the wisest choice of gifts for a young family just starting out. And maybe Joseph has a few more astute observations about the monumental event that people are, frankly, still talking about.

Jesus, My Boy is refreshing look at the Christmas story but from the eyes of the man who had parenthood thrust upon him, a play that is described as both "enchanting" and as "an unexpected Christmas gift."

Local actor David Adams plays Joseph, a gentle yet funny carpenter who shares his insight in a production that premieres in Vancouver with an original score, performed by Sheree Plett and Jeremy Eisenhauer.

"It's more about the man," says Adams. "Joseph's sort of explaining to the audience and the two musicians about his experience, being a father for the very first time, and what it was like to meet Mary, and how they dealt with it when she first came to him and said, 'Look, I'm pregnant.'"

Adams' Joseph takes the audience through the formative years when Jesus was a boy, and the ensuing challenges of being a father who has a child who was obviously different but has the same emotional needs as other kids....

Much of the play is irreverent, but not disrespectful, says Adams... "What I like about the writing of this is it's almost from a Jewish perspective rather than a Christian perspective," he says. "Joseph talks about being Jewish quite a bit and he talks about being a descendant of the House of David, and the Jewish life at that time."

The play is a one-man show, a soliloquy for Joseph, a role that allows Adams to personalize. The role of Joseph was originally written for actor Tom Conti, and immediately Adams was drawn to it. "Tom Conti has the kind of things I'd equate with myself. There's a soulfulness about him and a gentleness but at the same time he's a pretty imposing man.. I guess that's what I'm going to be bringing to Joseph."

Jesus, My Boy is sure to entertain, says Adams, but it also has a remarkable richness. "What I also love about doing this show is that it's just me and the text and it's lovely to be able to discover what there is in there," he says.

Adams, who has two teenage daughters, says he brings along his parenting experience, plus a fondness for carpentry. "My father is an old-world carpenter so it was really easy to relate to the carpentry end of it. I was the oldest son [of four] and if there was any helping to be done, I was the guy," he says.

It was frustrating for both father and son, Adams says, as he was "klutzy" and never had a penchant for remembering what tool he was supposed to retrieve when his father asked for it. But it's a skill that Adams picked up nonetheless. "Years later, there were a lot of things I knew just by osmosis, so now I'm very grateful. I can put in a door by myself. I can do some basic carpentry and that comes in handy when you're a homeowner," he laughs.

Rehearsal photos by Gillian Wolpert

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