Mike Ryan

My Father’s Son – Review


Often when you live this far away from a metropolitan area, as we do in Alexandria, sometimes we welcome a reminder that diverse experiences enrich our communities. My Father’s Son, on stage now through Saturday, July 31st at Theatre L’Homme Dieu, brings that welcome along with a hopeful reflection of our reality.

In the 70-minute production, playwright and star Avi Aharoni serves as family archeologist, deftly excavating and examining complicated family history as he tracks his father’s immigration story from Iran to Israel to the U.S. He concurrently seeks answers about his own identity and belonging, grapples with society’s prejudices, and contemplates the tragedies and victories that come from the unpredictability of lives lived fully.

This is so much more than a person sharing his family stories, it makes you think about what it may have been like for our own ancestors who embarked on struggles to give us the quality of life we enjoy today. Even though we may have different ethnicities, all of us have a family member from our past that came from somewhere else in the world to start a life and build a future here in America. Avi Aharoni’s absorbing, touching and entertaining one-man show is for anyone who’s an immigrant or descended from immigrants, meaning anyone who isn’t Native American.

Throughout My Father’s Son, Aharoni shines the light on his father, then turns it briefly on himself, then back to his father, then himself. At the start of the play, he raps about his “this is how I feel vs. this is how I’m viewed insecurities.” He later wonders aloud, “Was my family Israeli or Persian?” “Where do I fit?” “Am I white? POC? Both? Neither?” He asks us, the audience, “How do you view me?” And he answers his own question: “My father’s son.”

Highly recommended. Available at 7:30 p.m. through Saturday, July 31st. Tickets at tlhd.org or by calling the box office at 846-3150.