Theater: Dire Octopus

DEAR DADDY by Denis Cannan

Some family reunions turn into harpoon fests. That is precisely what happens in this seriocomic British play that is having its U.S. premiere under the auspices of the Philadelphia Drama Guild at the Annenberg Center's Zellerbach Theater. All the characters are moving targets, and the barbs are fast, furious and maliciously funny. Bernard (Joseph Maher), the father and pivotal figure of the play, is in a double state of decline: carking middle age and advancing penury.

In palmier days, when Bernard was a critic and early TV celebrity, he had put aside trust funds for his three children....

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