June 10, 2014

Like his hero, Johnny Cash, he’s a man in black: weathered Levi’s, motorcycle boots, a T-shirt with a box of cigarettes straining the chest pocket. A long-ago rock star who toured the world but never managed to get rich, Dale arrives to crash at his son’s Morningside Heights apartment like a leftover from a more analog time. Broke and unemployed, he has no idea how to navigate a world ruled by technology. Lucas Kavner’s surprising and very funny new play, Carnival Kids, directed by Stephen Brackett and presented by Lesser America at TBG Theater, is partly the story of a reckoning between Dale (Randall Newsome) and Mark (Jake Choi). A career-focused, inordinately self-contained law student, Mark is alarmed that his Texan father seems to have no plans to get a place of his own by, say, interviewing for a job. “I mean, he didn’t even bring a pair of khakis,” Mark complains to his old friend Marisa (a dry, teasing Laura Ramadei).