You’re in for a surprise when you see author/performer Ryan J. Haddad’s autobiographic solo show. In keeping with the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company’s philosophy, this is a play “that disrupts conventional processes and stimulates transformative experiences.” Directed by Laura Savia and Jess McLeod, HI, ARE YOU SINGLE? explores Ryan’s never-ending search for Mr. Right. So you say, “Sure, we’re all in the same boat.” But Ryan has a few extra issues to deal with – he’s gay; and, more importantly, he has cerebral palsy. Besides that, Ryan just happens to have a very high sex drive. Told by a true raconteur, Ryan manages to hit just the right hilarious notes while striking a poignant balance between being a disabled person and also a sexually-alive dude who still wants what most of us want – love, acceptance, and being with that special someone.
Presented by the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company in association with IAMA Theatre Company, HI, ARE YOU SINGLE? was first presented in The Public Theater’s “Under the Radar” Festival and continues to tour the country. The current production was recorded with a limited, masked, socially distant live audience. It was also filmed onstage – even if today’s theater, in keeping with pandemic restrictions, is so often distant from a real theater setting. With Ryan’s solo show, live theater artfully morphs into a fascinating streamed event.
HI, ARE YOU SINGLE? is a bawdy, chuckly study on sexuality through the eyes of a disabled gay man trying his best to shine in the single world. He’s tried it all: Grindr, social media, gay bars, drag queen shows, lap dancing experiences. Yet that sexy, gentle, loving “forever” partner – or even a really fulfilling one-monther – has eluded him. This is a play with no holds barred as Ryan lets it “all hang out” in his pursuit of love – or at least good sex. Or maybe even a sensual intimate dance between two consenting adults. But perhaps Ryan has another problem that’s getting in his way – his fear of getting close and his tendency to reject guys as soon as they show some interest in him.
Kudos to Ryan Haddad, a captivating storyteller and a charming, cuddly man who makes you laugh as you question whether or not you ought to. His enduring humor and steadfast strength emerge in every scene with each word he utters. HI, ARE YOU SINGLE? is the perfect show to stream in your living room – or maybe your bedroom. It’s so intimate that it leaves the audience wondering if maybe they shouldn’t be watching this very personal tale. On the other hand, being a fly on the wall in Ryan’s world is certainly lots of fun.
Kudos to the production team as well, including Lawrence E. Moten III (scenic and costume designer), Colin K. Bills (lighting design), Tosin Olufolabi (sound design), John Keith Hall (stage manager), and Andrew Cutler (assistant stage manager). Each crew member does a great job in backing up Ryan’s touching, uproarious look at his life and times. The producers also have options available for captioning and audio description.
HI, ARE YOU SINGLE? streams on demand from 9:01 p.m. (PST) on January 31, 2021, until 12:01 a.m. (EST) on February 1 through 8:59 p.m. (PST)/11:59 p.m. (EST) on February 28, 2021. Virtual tickets are $15 with advance purchase and $20 after January 31. For more information and reservations, call 202-393-3939 or go online.