Me, dad, & the hundred boyfriends written and performed by Cathy Jones, directed by Charlie Rhindress. Presented by Theatre Passe Muraille (16 Ryerson). Runs to June 1, Tuesday-Saturday 8 pm, matinees Saturday-Sunday 2:30 pm. $29-$38, Sunday pwyc. 416-504-7529. Rating: NN
You know you're in trouble when you begin your 75-minute one-woman show by complaining about having to write and perform that one-woman show. It's the laziest dog-ate-my-homework routine, and it gets Cathy Jones's Me, Dad, & The Hundred Boyfriends off to a terrible start.Not that it gets much better. Admitting that the title is a bit of a tease ("good publicity, though"), the This Hour Has 22 Minutes performer jokes that she has attention deficit disorder. Hmm. Is it a joke? What comes after - a series of random, disconnected quips and thoughts - constitutes a fair diagnosis for ADD.
Jones gives us a slide show of boyfriends real and imaginary (Brad Pitt shows up), mentions her dad and mom, then gets sidetracked talking about her Catholic school upbringing and wanting to do more theatre, ending with the classy question: "Does Martha Henry get laid?"
The best section is a brief interlude when Jones dons a grey wig, hauls out a seniors newspaper and begins riffing on aging. The material is funny because it gets to our honest fears about death and mortality, and it's delivered in Jones's down-home no-fuss style.
It also works because Jones has a character to hide behind. She's less confident playing herself. Burying her theme - something about women and promiscuity that's never developed - Jones offers up dimpled charm instead of a show.
She'd be good fun delivering raunchy anecdotes over a round of drinks. But she's not fit company for a full-length show.