While writing it, Rick Cipes didn’t know what the deeper meaning of “Bad Daddy: The Musical” was.
“Looking back, it’s really obvious,” says the man who also directs and stars in the show. “It’s a reaction to my anger from listening to people on their cell phones, screaming their life stories, in public places.”
The show examines disconnect in the 21st century, through a divorced dad trying to reconcile with his daughter.
“It’s a real cross-generational battle. This father grew up during a time when you’d never take a call at dinner or when with your family,” Cipes says. “And now all hell has broken loose.”
The former journalist and first-time playwright isn’t anti-technology — he loves his Apple gadgets. His musical is meant to be a cautionary tale. But it’s not all serious.
“We have go-go dancers and outlandish humor and beautiful ballads as well,” says Cipes.
The transition to theater after nearly a decade as a writer for publications such as LA Times, ESPN Magazine and Playboy wasn’t hard, at first, for the “Big Daddy” creator.
“This was the easiest thing, initially, to write in my life,” he says. “But last summer I rewrote the show entirely for the Oberon, and it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done.”
Please silence your phones
As we grow more connected to computers and cell phones, we lose our ability to relate to other people, explains Cipes. He says his play will wake audi-ences up to this reality.
“Even the cast has become more aware of their cell phone use,” he says.