Willie Dodger (Parker Drew) and Dutch (Darren Johnson) spend the second to last day of deer season pondering all that one should in a hunting shack, telling jokes and enjoying some quiet until two unexpected visitor get stuck in the snow.
Willie's wife Susan (Angela Thielke-Zuidmulder) and Son Oliver (Ethan Zuidmulder) literally crash the deer hunting camp, breaking tradition and a few contracts along the way.
Fortunately, local tow truck owner and all around "hottie" How's She Goin' Shelly (Shelly Emmer) shows up in time to get them out of the pickle they have gotten themselves in.
Daddy D's would love to bring this show to your theater, fundraiser or corporate event! 920-544-4244 Darren@daddyds.com
Here is what a few theater goers had to say...
I am having a hard time describing all the feelings I experienced during the performance of your outstanding musical. The set is what I saw first and it grabbed my attention because it was so authentic and detailed. The musical made me laugh, listen in awe to a mother and her son act and sing together, listen & watch a cast of talented actors share a story that was very touching and emotional (I even shed a few tears), and listen to those actors and our wonderful musicians perform your originals and parodies. You are amazing and this show totally deserved the standing ovation the audience gave you. I think this show be done annually. Barb B
Well it was a great surprise to watch Daddy D's first comedy show last night. Darren Johnson you are a genius. The show was great and I will be honest and say that I was not expecting the way you put that show together. I love it and hope there are more shows like this in the future. Everyone did a great job and as always Shelly Emmer was great and beautiful. Thank you Darren for the great show. Bob N.
Thank you Darren Johnson and Daddy D for an amazing evening. The show was sexy, funny, heartwarming, and shocking. A perfect combination. I loved the Father's Gun part it really cut me deep. Amazing writing!!! A perfect way to spend my birthday evening with my wife. See you again soon. Joe S.
Warren Gerds/Critic at Large: Review: Surprises lace Daddy D musical. GREEN BAY, Wis.
At its peak, the new musical “White Tales” is a big rush of audience reaction and voices saying, “Oh, my gosh!”
I won’t give away what has happened. That would spoil things for future audiences. But that moment pushes the show into the adult arena versus begin a cute musical in a deer huntin’, up nort’ setting that it starts out as.
“White Tales” opens with a couple of guys settling in in their woodsy cabin on the second to last day of deer hunting season. Dutch is bachelor; he’s a little tick (thick) upstairs, and he’s keen on hunting. Willie is married; he’s smart and culinary-minded, and he has grown to savor nature over shooting deer. Arriving in a snowstorm are Willie’s wife and 9-year-old son, Susan and Oliver. Susan has something for Willie to sign – a divorce agreement.
Mostly, “White Tales” is a musical comedy. Often, it is light and teasing. A character called How’s She Goin’ Shelly – admired for owning a tow truck (and the body of a goddess) – assures brightness and laughs. The divorce thingie is part of what allows author Darren Johnson to move some of his songs to meaningful
A sample of a parody at full tilt is “One Deer More” that ends Act I. The music is from the megahit musical “Les Miserables” and its famous scene around the song “One Day More”: Aith adrenaline-charged soldiers stand atop rubble and inspire themselves to go to on as one waves a large red flag. The singing is a combination of layers of all the characters. In “One Deer More,” the lyrics also are in layers as individual characters sing words from his or her perspective in the hunting/woodsy/cabin setting, and the flag waved is that of a NASCAR fan. This is not a casual, toss-off tune but a piece that requires serious work.
Another parody plays with “Maria” from “West Side Story.” For the song “Cold Beer,” the syllables of “ma-ri-a” become “cold be-a.” The parody “My ‘Gun Farmy’ Things” draws from two sources. First of all, there’s a place in the story that’s like Fleet Farm that’s called Gun & Farm. The song, sung twice, is a play on “A Few of My Favorite Things” from “The Sound of Music.”
The true grist of the show are Johnson’s originals. Some are sheer fun. “I Make Blaze Orange Look Good!” finds Willie showing off and making a few flamenco/Spanish moves. “No Chicks Allowed” is Johnson in Chuck Berry-like rock ‘n’ roll. “How’s She Goin’?” is Shelly being her perky/merry self. Some songs dig deep. “Stuck in the Snow,” the song on which the story turns, is a beautiful ballad with Susan and Willie singing words that have multiple meanings to them. Also filled with layers of meaning is “My Father’s Gun,” with what Dutch is singing applying to the gun, his father and himself. (FYI: The real shotgun in the show never fully comes out of its carrying case).
All this is to say “White Tales” is a legit musical. Most of the performers are Daddy D Productions regulars. Parker Drew, who plays Willie, is known widely for many leading roles in area shows, along with his long-standing Mark Twain interpretation. Drew brings a share of acting expertise. Angela Thielke-Zuildmulder and Shelly Emmer bring vocal luster. In young Ethan Zuildmulder, Johnson has a boy who can carry a key role and the fun song “My ‘Gun Farmy’ Things” and deliver a big comedy line about wishing to be a jacket – and his mother can do a duet with him. Johnson applies his deepest voice in emphasizing “tales” in the title song and shows his range in songs silly and sincere.
At its core, “White Tales” is about friendship, family and acceptance. The huntin’ stuff is dressing around that.
The show opens with a lot of lawyer jokes (on purpose). It kind of bangs around with huntin’ guy stuff. The set is typical huntin’ cabin oddball. It has signs (no chicks or kids; beer advertisements and such crude slogans as “Brown It’s Down”), pictures that range from police/prison mug shots to a portrait of Charles Dickens and well-worn furnishings rescued (at least temporarily) from the dump. Costuming is outdoorsy to Shelly’s somewhat (!) revealing.
In regular Daddy D Productions shows, the band plays on stage with the singers. In “White Tales,” the musicians are in a pit in front of the stage – like for a regular musical. Like for a regular musical, “White Tales” comes with an opening overture, with the orchestra playing lines that signal what’s to come – perky, happy, jaunty, reflective numbers, with a country/polka style layer tossed in.
Musicals are collaborative efforts. While Johnson came up with the ideas, helping him pull them off required big-time assists of Barb Hinnendael (arrangements, etc.), Peggy Anderson (stage direction, etc.) and the musicians and singers. Everybody has been involved on stage for a long while, so “White Tales” has an “oh, we can do this” feel to it. The payoff comes in that big rush of audience reaction and voices saying, “Oh, my gosh!”
The result is a first: Local guy becomes a showman, creates his own troupe, survives, creates and pulls off his first stage musical.