Theater Info for the Washington DC region

Review: I Never Sang For My Father

By • Feb 18th, 2006 • Category: Reviews

Listen to our review of the Providence Players’ production of I Never Sang For My Father [MP3 4:33 4.2MB].

Laura: We’re talking about Providence Players‘ production of I Never Sang For My Father that we saw opening night.

Mike: I Never Sang For My Father takes place in 1965. The story is of Gene whose father is Tom. It talks about their relationship. They have a good/bad relationship depending on whose looking at it relationship. It goes through a lot of different emotions throughout the whole evening.

Laura: Yes, it does. I thought it was a very good show. Not an upbeat comedy.

Mike: It’s not a comedy.

Laura: You go away thinking and discussing like we did on the way home.

Mike: And you’re going to see in all the characters in this family and the friends of the family, you’re going to see people you know and you’re going to see yourself probably in someone.

Laura: You can identify with one of the charcters throughout the play.

Mike: And it might scare you. And you might say, “Yeah, I knew I was right.” Depending on which character it is. It’s a deep play. Not lighthearted.

Laura: It is a deep play. I liked the set. It was a simple set and I think part of it because the purpose of it was to focus on the actors and not necessarily a lot of background. They did well with the lighting I thought.

Mike: The lighting was aimed at them. Again there wasn’t much set or prop design or anything. It forced you to look at the relationships between the people.

Laura: I liked that very much. The other thing I noticed somewhere in the second act, I think I realized that the father, Tom, played by John Coscia, was 80 years old.

Mike: They said several times throughout there that he was 80 years old.

Laura: Which means he was born in 1885.

Mike: There were a few spots where I was confused by what they were talking about. “That doesn’t make sense” Then Laura pointed out he was born in 1885 and that helped clarify a lot of what they talked about.

Laura: Yes, put it in context.

Mike: Since there was no set design, they didn’t have a lot of cues for what time period you were looking at. You had to remember it was 1965. The dress that the sister was wearing, Alice, was definitely from the 60’s. It was a cool dress.

Mike: It was 60’s and they did well with it. The nurse’s outfit was old fashioned white crisp linens. They did well with the costumes.

Laura: It was 60’s.

Laura: One of the characters I identified with was Gene, he was the son, played by Matt Ames. I thought he did a very strong performance. I liked his emotions and his over all performance.

Mike: I know if I had been playing that part, I don’t know if I could have done it. I would have personalized what he was going through too much. There’s so many different father figures in my life that it would have been awkward and difficult and they did a pretty good job with that.

Laura: Yes, I agree.

Mike: I bet the rehearsals would have been fun trying to learn, we don’t want to give the plot away. I bet they would have been fun to get through. Hard work and at the end of the show you’re really rooting for them, the father and the son.

Laura: Probably a lot of introspection in the rehearsals.

Mike: Just like Laura and I in the car on the way home and right now we’re thinking, “Oh that was when.” Same thing I’m sure happened with the actors.

Laura: I thought Margaret the mother, played by Nancy Thompson, did an excellent performance as well. Again, without giving away too much of the plot, she had strong emotions.

Mike: She did really well. She, the mother, had accepted the role of the son, Gene, and what he was doing with his life. There was a conflict between the mother and the father and she kind of just dealt with it and talked with Gene and tried to help him deal with it. I don’t want to give the plot away because there is some intricacy of family life that we all deal with since we all have family. So I Never Sang for my Father by the Providence Players is playing through March 4th in Falls Church, Virginia.

Laura: It’s a good show, I definitely recommend seeing it.

Mike: It was a good show. If you have any thoughts on it feel free to leave comments here on our website:

Laura: And now, on with the show.


  • Gene, the son: Matt Ames
  • Tom, the father: John Coscia
  • Margaret, the mother: Nancy Thompson
  • Alice, the sister: Leta Hall
  • Reverend Pell: Mike Dazé
  • Mr. Scott: Bob Cascella
  • Dr. Mayberry: Tim Brown
  • Mary, a waitress: Sarah Bufano, Laura Devine
  • A nurse: Janet Shadle
  • A porter: Matthew Esherick, Nick Mattheisen


  • Director: Susan Devine
  • Producer: Mike Mattheisen
  • Technical Director: Chip Gertzog
  • Technical Crew: Nick Bayer, Nick Bayer, Annie Brown, Tim Brown, Chris Deering, Jim Gertzog, Kevin Harnisch, Mike Mattheisen, Tina Thronson, Gail Seavey, Robbie Snow, David Whitehead
  • Stage Director: Mike Mattheisen
  • Stge Crew: Matt Dazé, Matt Dazé, Matt Esherick, Glynis Mattheisen, Nick Mattheisen, Robbie Snow, Tina Thronson
  • Costume Design: Donna Naybor, Anne Marie Nasto
  • Lighting Design: Chip Gertzog
  • Music Design: Paul Nasto
  • Set Design: Eric Kugler
  • Properties: Tina Thronson
  • Set Construction & Painting: Tim Brown, Larry Craven, Scott Devine, Chip Getzog, Kevin Harnisch, Eric Kugler, Mike Mattheisen, Susie Mattheisen, Jesse Rump, Heather Shadle, Janet Shadle, Tina Thronson, Beth Whitehead, Claire Whitehead, David Whitehead
  • Hair & makeup: Beth Harrison, Robbie Snow
  • Publicity: Chip Gertzog, Barbara Gertzog, Bill Vander Clute
  • Playbill: Cindy Paska
  • Photographer: Chip Gertzog
  • House Management: Ann Ames
  • Playbill Advertising: Kevin Harnisch
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started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike & Laura are each members of the American Theatre Critics Association, and Mike is a member of the Online News Association.

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