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Paul Dooley – World’s Greatest Movie Dad

Paul Dooley performing “Movie Dad” at Theatre West in Los Angeles.

Paul Dooley

World’s Greatest Movie Dad

by Jay S. Jacobs

Like the old saying goes, if you look up the word “Dad” in the dictionary, chances are good that you will find Paul Dooley’s picture.

A veteran character actor whose career has spanned six decades. In the ‘70s and ‘80s, Dooley’s hangdog gruffness and genial sweetness made him Hollywood’s go-to choice for exasperated-but-loving father figures.

He has had a career that has encompassed dozens of performances in movies and on television, though he never really got any starring roles on film until he was in his late 40s. He was part of the original Broadway casts of such legendary shows as The Odd Couple and A Threepenny Opera. He was a member of the early cast of the Second City comedy troupe. He was even a corporate spokesperson for a popular cleaning product in a series of 1950s commercials.

However, he’s still best known for playing dads.

You remember him as the heartland used-car-salesman who can’t understand his bicycle-obsessed son in Breaking Away. He also played Molly Ringwald’s overwhelmed father in the classic teen comedy Sixteen Candles. He was even Larry David’s wife Cheryl’s father on the popular HBO TV series Curb Your Enthusiasm.

However, these roles are just a small part of Dooley’s fascinating career path.

Dooley is living out his past in a new one-man show which he calls, unsurprisingly, Movie Dad. He is performing the show at Theatre West in Los Angeles. Running from July 7th to the 23rd, Movie Dad captures the beginnings, the inspirations, and the highlights of a 60-year career and boils it down into a funny, heartfelt examination of a life in the arts.

“It’s been a slow thing that’s been in the back of my head maybe three or four years,” Dooley says. “People began saying about that time: ‘You’ve had so many different kinds of experiences – writing, acting, directing, commercials. Everything, you know? You should write a book.’ I said, if I wrote a book and people at home laughed, I would never hear the laughs. Why be involved in humor if you’re not going to hear the laughs? Nah, let’s put it all in a one-man show.”

However, the idea of a book still isn’t out of the question.

“As a matter of a fact, now that I’ve done it – I did another version of it last year at the Hollywood Film Festival – I’ve also written it so precisely and concisely and decided all the evenings are even more special. I may just actually put it in a book, because probably half of the book is already written, in terms of how I’ve described the trajectory of my life.”

Paul Dooley performing “Movie Dad” at Theatre West in Los Angeles.

Was it hard to compress a career that had gone decades into a single show?

“It is hard,” Dooley acknowledges. “One of the things I didn’t want to do is to look like it was a resume on stage. ‘And then I did this. And then I did that. And then I did this.’ It gets to be a little too braggadocio. I wanted to minimize talking about my biggest successes. Talk about my beginnings. Things about me that no one has ever seen. I have films of stuff I’ve done that the public has never seen. Things when I was 12 years old, and 15, and 18. In college, and in Second City. A lot of stuff that’s more interesting to people than what they already know. Some of it is part of public knowledge. So, I left out the whole list of ‘I made 60 movies’ or something. I only mentioned very passingly a couple of them.”

Early on in his career, Dooley was an artist looking for a perfect fit. He was experimenting with the arts, finding his own place. He had early experience as a cartoonist. He worked in acting and standup comedy. He made commercials. He toyed with magic. He was even a clown for a while. Looking back, he realizes that these experiences helped to make him the actor he is today.

“I was so thrilled to get the part of Wimpy (in Robert Altman’s Popeye), because he is a cartoon,” Dooley recalls. “In school, I had started studying all these cartoons, including Popeye and Wimpy. That was like something come to life for me. I first started drawing realistic things, like planes and horses and cars and things. Then it shifted over in high school to the funny version of drawing, which is cartoons.”

As he grew, the arts took a stronger hold on his mind. In high school, he started acting.

“I played some straight parts in high school,” Dooley says. “Then it shifted over to wanting to be just in comedy parts. In college, I concentrated on comedy. It kind of built. They asked the college to send over some actors who could be at a kids’ event and do clowning. I put on some clown outfits and began to experiment. I learned to juggle. I learned to do magic.”

When he moved out and started looking for acting work seriously, the clown experience turned out to come in handy for him.

“When I went to New York, I couldn’t get into the union equity, or SAG or AFTRA without jobs, which I couldn’t get without being in the union,” Dooley says. “So, I put together a clown act, which was 45 minutes and used all these things. That’s how I paid my rent early on. I couldn’t give up my part time jobs in New York, not for two or three years, but for nine years. Even though I’d be in a show for three months, I’d be out of work for four months. Be in a show for two days and be out of work for a month or two. I always had to have part time jobs.”

Paul Dooley performing “Movie Dad” at Theatre West in Los Angeles.

So, when he got started out 60-some years ago, did Dooley ever imagine he would still be acting all these years later?

“No,” he says, simply. “Not until I was about 33 years old. I just thought I’m going to spend my life being on unemployment doing a few shows. Never really getting ahead and having any money in the bank. After nine years, I was making $3,000 a year or under, and living on it, in the mid-late ‘50s.”

At the time, he was auditioning for tons of commercials. Never got one. Then, finally, he did, for Top Job cleaner.

“They loved me,” Dooley says. “They made me the spokesman. I went from $3,000 a year to $40,000 a year in 1961. Now, that would be like a quarter of a million dollars. I could have lived the same lifestyle for about eight years, but instead, I moved up a little. Mainly got a mortgage, got a house in Brooklyn, I got a house in the country, and still had money left over. From that day on in 1961, I’ve never been broke. Then I began working everywhere, all the time.”

And he loved it. Well, most of it…

“Of course, when I play a character, that’s enjoyable,” Dooley says. “The act of acting is fun. I did night clubs. I was a stand up. I was on The Tonight Show before Johnny Carson was. Jack Paar was there. So, I’ve had all kinds of varied experiences.”

However, he must admit with hindsight, there was one part he never really liked.

“I kind of hated night clubs,” he says, “because the audience was often hostile. They don’t get what you’re doing sometimes. That’s why comics, it’s so hard for them. You have ten years to develop a real act. People don’t know you, they don’t laugh. Also, they come there to get drunk. When I had an offer to be on Second City, and I was going to be able to do comedy, looking in the eyes of another actor, I said, goodbye night clubs. I never enjoyed it that much. I’d been successful around New York and certain big cities, but I’d rather be an actor doing comedy than being a standup.”

Paul Dooley performing “Movie Dad” at Theatre West in Los Angeles.

Dooley was a fan of Second City even before he joined the troupe, but he was part of the earliest grouping of the famed comedy company. It is a legendary group that has included such amazing talents over the years as Alan Alda, Mike Nichols, Elaine May, John Belushi, John Candy, Martin Short and many, many more.

“I joined the original company,” Dooley says. “They were in Chicago for maybe two or three years in the late 50s. Then they came to New York, and they did it on Broadway, briefly. Although they got rave reviews, it was ahead of its time. It didn’t really last more than a few months, because people in theater weren’t used to anybody turning to them and saying, ‘Tell me what my character is. Tell me what I’m trying to do. What situation am I in? What’s the location?’ They just came to the theater then with suits and ties and very formal. There were these velvet seats and everything. After a few months on Broadway, it wasn’t really getting the right audiences. I saw it four times.”

However, the troupe soon recognized the odd fit, and decided to take a ride downtown to the much funkier confines of Greenwich Village, near NYU.

“Now it was in a cabaret with the theater not three or four feet above the audience, but one foot, where you could put your actual feet on the stage, have a beer and a cheeseburger,” Dooley continues. “It’s much more conducive to doing improvisation. It’s casual. It was a big, big success down there.

“The only reason I got involved was the originals – which included Alan Arkin and Barbara Harris, a lot of the originals – they needed somebody to be an understudy, so they could take a well-deserved vacation,” Dooley explains. “They all complained about improvising steady for three years. They want a vacation. They said, ‘Let’s just open the off-Broadway version, get the reviews, get the audience, and then you’ll all get a vacation. We’ll get in understudies.’”

Dooley knew opportunities like this don’t pop up every day, so he hustled on down to get in on the auditions. Luckily, he knew a guy – an aspiring composer – who was supplementing his income with one of those necessary part-time jobs, as a bartender at the cabaret. The guy suggested Dooley show up the day before the official auditions. Dooley went in for a meeting.

“They don’t know much about me,” Dooley says. “I said I’m happy to audition sometime, whenever you want. Just give me a script. He says, ‘We don’t have any scripts.’ I said, how would I audition? He said, ‘Go on tonight with the company.’”

Sounds good, right? Only one slight problem…

“I didn’t even know how to improvise,” Dooley says. “I knew it was made up. I didn’t even know the basic rule, which was listen, and agree. That’s improvisation. But my background was stand-up and sketches, so I was half way there. They pushed me onstage and I did a scene with Arkin. Probably because of him, it was a success. They hired me.”

Paul Dooley performing “Movie Dad” at Theatre West in Los Angeles.

Dooley replaced all four guys currently in the troupe, for two weeks each, so they could all take some time off. After eight weeks, the vacations had run their course. Everyone was back.

“The management said, ‘Well, now you know everything, you might as well stay.’ Dooley laughs. “I learned to improvise by doing it. Learning as I went. Pushed on stage.”

Another legendary stage was looming in Dooley’s future. He was soon to be part of the original Broadway cast of Neil Simon’s The Odd Couple with Walter Matthau and Art Carney, which was directed by fellow Second City alum Mike Nichols. Dooley started the run as one of Oscar and Felix’s card playing buddies as well as being Carney’s understudy. When Carney left the production, Dooley took over the role of Felix Unger.

“It was amazing,” he says. “I had admired Mike Nichols and his partner Elaine May so much when they were comedians. They came out of improvisation in Chicago. We had that in common. He was a brilliant man, Mike Nichols, as everybody talks about him says. Most people describe him saying he was the smartest person they ever met in show business. Maybe out of show business.”

Not only that, it was a thrill to work with the legendary playwright Simon, though at that point it was early in his career.

“Neil Simon, is a playwright like Shakespeare, or somebody,” Dooley says. “Well, he’s more than Moliere, because he’s done 45 plays or something.”

Actually, Simon wrote 34 produced plays, but he also did at least that many screenplays as well.

The Odd Couple is like the third or fourth play, but he already had the reputation of being an incredible writer,” he continues. “He wrote on the Sid Caesar show with all those famous writers. Larry Gelbart, Woody Allen and all those people. And Carl Reiner, of course.” Mel Brooks was also a writer for Your Show of Shows.

He still looks back at the experience with amazement. “Working with those people was just incredible.”

Paul Dooley performing “Movie Dad” at Theatre West in Los Angeles.

Of course, as so often in life, when it rains, it pours. On the very day that Paul Dooley had his biggest break to date in his career – well he had another one.

“An odd thing happened,” Dooley explains. “I had been doing a few visits on an early Carol Burnett show – before she had The Carol Burnett Show – it was called The Entertainers. It had her and Bob Newhart and a couple of other people. I was a semi-regular in the sketches. The day I got the job on The Odd Couple, the same day I got the job I got a call from Joe Hamilton, who was her husband-to-be and the producer of her show. He said, ‘Instead of a semi-regular, we’d like you to be on every episode of this new show we have.’”

It was a tough choice, but in the end Dooley knew what he had to do.

“All my life I’d wanted to be on a sketch show on television,” he says. “I loved sketches. I said: You know, Joe, just this day I’ve been offered the play with Neil Simon and Mike Nichols. I think it’s a bigger opportunity for me than doing the television show. It could run for years, first of all. And I’m only featured on the TV show and this I would have a bigger part. So, that’s how it happened that I chose The Odd Couple. It was a thrill, really a thrill.

Of course, that time was a whirlwind. “I just had a tremendous lot of things going on.”

Another unexpected opportunity loomed, and Dooley threw himself into it.

“I took a side-step out for a year and I created the TV show called The Electric Company,” Dooley says. “I was teaching kids to read. I’d been recommended for that job by Carl Reiner.”

Dooley did not learn of Reiner’s recommendation until years later. And, honestly, he’d never even considered doing educational children’s television. However, the opportunity presented itself, and Dooley took it.

“The reason they thought I was right for it was I had created hundreds of hundreds of hundreds of radio commercials, which are a minute long,” Dooley explains. “Or thirty seconds. They have a message, and it has to be over and done with in a hurry.

“At first, I wasn’t sure if I could handle it,” Dooley admits. “I thought it was a big assignment… I was nervous, although I’m pretty confident about my writing and my acting. I was very nervous about it, until I figured out that it was going to be close to writing a lot of little television commercials for kids… I thought the show would be a lot of short segments with words and letters, using humor to get across the message. That’s just like commercials.”

Paul Dooley performing “Movie Dad” at Theatre West in Los Angeles.

It worked. Though The Electric Factory ran for only a year, it spent years in syndication and has become a baby-boomer touchstone. And it is mostly memorable for Dooley’s early realization that he could teach the kids in bite-sized chunks.

“That’s why I did it, because children are supposed to have short attention spans. You can’t do things that are eight minutes. The shorter they are, and the punchier they are, the better. And of course, we repeated a lot of those sketches and scenes, because learning is through repetition, especially with younger children. Math tables, or ABCs, or numbers; the more you drill it, the more you know it.”

Soon, acting beckoned, and he returned to his main gig of acting in television and film. Within a matter of a few years, he would be Hollywood’s favorite father.

So, what does it take to be a good movie dad?

“In my show I talk about it,” Dooley says. “Having my own children and everything. I had a divorce and missed seeing them as much as I wanted to. The father’s visits are often a lot less than you would like it to be. I always had this feeling of wanting to see them more, but it didn’t work out that way. In my show, I say: could missing my children and thinking about them actually become so much a part of me that the audience could feel it? Maybe so.”

Or perhaps it is just as simple as a statement in Dooley’s press bio – he had been acting for years before becoming an “overnight success.” By the time he started making movies regularly, he was already well into his 40s, which is an age that is ripe for playing a parent. Then, when he played the role successfully a few times, the floodgates opened.

“In Breaking Away I was a father, and it was very well reviewed,” Dooley says. “It was kind of a cult hit, a sleeper movie. Then I did Sixteen Candles. Pretty soon, the casting directors thought of me as the go-to movie dad.”

It was legendary director Robert Altman who first saw the potential of a movie actor in Dooley. Though Dooley had bit parts in films in previous films like Up the Sandbox with Barbra Streisand, Slap Shot with Paul Newman and Death Wish with Charles Bronson. Altman put him into a starring role in his ensemble film A Wedding, which also starred Carol Burnett.

“I got typed. Robert Altman discovered me. I was 49 years old. Then I made five movies with him and it really turned me into a film actor. He saw me in an off-Broadway comedy thing. He liked me, so I became part of his theater company. His repertoire.”

The other films he made with Altman were 3 Women, A Perfect Couple, Popeye and a cameo as himself in Altman’s vicious Hollywood parody The Player.

Paul Dooley performing “Movie Dad” at Theatre West in Los Angeles.

The Altman experience also made Dooley take a harder look at his craft.

“At first, I always wanted to think I was good at comedy,” Dooley says. “Then, working with Altman, some of the parts were serious acting. I had always been a little afraid of serious acting. I think comedians, comedy people, often hide behind the comedy. Serious acting, dramatic acting, goes a little deeper. You use your own emotions to play the character. In comedy, it’s more surface. It’s more two dimensional.”

Coming from a standup background, Dooley realized that comedy and drama were very different skill sets.

“A lot of comedians can really only do the comedy, the stand up, the jokes, and not really make the leap into dramatic things. For example, Robin [Williams] did it beautifully. Some of his dramatic roles are as good as his comedy. He did great dramatic work. But, more comics who do standup aren’t prepared to be actors, because they are not used to going deep into the emotions.”

Paul Dooley wasn’t used to it either. However, it led to something of a revelation for him. He could pull it off.

“It was a discovery for me to find out at 49,” he says. “In my first movie [A Wedding], watching the dailies, I said, wait a minute, I can do dramatic parts. I realized if you have the timing it’s not limited to comedy. It works for drama. It was an epiphany at 49 years old. I learned I can do both, and I’ve done both ever since.”

Still, gun to the head, if he had to choose between the two?

“I guess in the best of all worlds, if I did nothing else, I’d just do comedy roles,” Dooley admits. “They gave me the opportunity to do dramatic parts, and sometimes they are very rewarding.”

Dooley turned heads in A Wedding. However, it was another movie dad that pushed Dooley over the top. [Director] Peter Yates was making a small semi-autobiographical coming-of-age movie by a first-time screenwriter named Steve Tesich. Tesich wrote a film about bicycling and growing up as a townie in the home of the University of Indiana.

Breaking Away was written brilliantly, I thought,” Dooley recalls. “[Tesich] won an Oscar for that.”

Paul Dooley performing “Movie Dad” at Theatre West in Los Angeles.

The role was what really put Dooley on the Hollywood fast track. He played Ray Stoller, the father of a romantic high school student, played by Dennis Christopher, who was obsessed with Italy and bike racing. [Christopher had also played Dooley’s son in A Wedding.] Ray was a former limestone cutter in Bloomington, Indiana, who was now making a living as a used car salesman. The role showed lots of levels to the characters and the relationships.

Dooley’s highlight is a stunning scene – essentially a monologue – in which Ray and his son walk around the campus of the University of Indiana at night. Ray tells his son about how he had carved most of the limestone in the buildings. He stated plainly that he’d love to be able to come and walk on campus like this more often and look at the limestone, but somehow after the college was built, it no longer felt like he belonged.

“The minute I read about five pages of [the script], I said, this is great,” Dooley recalls. “I also said, this is just like my father.”

Dennis Christopher, who played his son in the film, discussed his connection with Dooley with me a few years ago.

“He had a relationship with his father very much like Dave, the character in Breaking Away, had with his dad,” Christopher said at the time. “We both connected on that level… I think we both grew up in households where you never spoke unless spoken to and if you were any kind of an individual, you got squashed down… He had a lot to draw on and so did I. We had that connection with each other. We played it for all it was worth.”

Dooley recalls his father a little more charitably, but acknowledges there was a bit of a disconnect.

“I come from a depression background,” Dooley explains. “My father never smiled. I bonded with him, so I am much more a deadpan person. Doing some of my films, even Breaking Away was a little like that. I had a heart of gold at the end, but I’ve almost specialized in characters that are like my father was. Like fathers used to be in the old days. They weren’t spending a lot of time hugging their kids. They were making a living. That’s the background I came from. The fathers I play, I like to have much more warmth and charm in it, but I still play cranky guys like my dad was.”

Dooley was not the only one who made the father connection. The scene had a lived in, relatable vibe that many people responded to. For example, while doing the publicity tour for Breaking Away, Dooley did an interview with the late Chicago Sun-Times writer Roger Ebert.

“Roger Ebert told me that when he was about 14 or 15, he was taking a walk with his father, who has been an electrician,” Dooley recalls. “His father said, ‘You see that tall building? On the 10th floor to the 20th floor, I was in charge of putting in all the electric in that building.’ It’s the same scene that’s in the movie, just a little different. I did it by using limestone. He did it with electricity. Roger Ebert said he was blown away. It was part of his life.”

Paul Dooley performing “Movie Dad” at Theatre West in Los Angeles.

Of course, Dooley is not just beloved as the father of sons. His role as Molly Ringwald’s father in the classic comedy Sixteen Candles also struck a nerve in pop culture.

“Very, very frequently, young women come up to me on the street,” Dooley says. “They saw [Sixteen Candles] when they were sixteen. Now they are thirty, thirty-five. They all come up to me and say, ‘I wish you had been my dad. You’re a great dad, a wonderful dad.’ In real life, dads aren’t all perfect. I had somebody write this part for me. John Hughes.”

Dooley laughs. “I get it all the time, constantly: ‘God, I loved you… My favorite movie.’ I have a theory that every year, a new crop of sixteen-year-olds discover it.”

The funny thing is, though, that performance almost never happened.

“I’ll tell you an interesting story,” Dooley explains. “I was very hot there when Breaking Away came out. I got like a hundred great reviews. I got the biggest agent in New York, who signed me up. John Hughes asked me to be in Sixteen Candles. I read the script and I saw that the parents appeared in the first three minutes and the last three minutes.”

Dooley and his agent liked the script, but they decided that they should not take the role because of the limited screen time. Dooley was still hot from Breaking Away, he’ll probably get better offers. So, Dooley turned the role down, two or three times.

“Naturally, being Hollywood, they raised the money two or three times,” Dooley recalls. “They think you turn something down, it’s always money. Finally, they realized I didn’t want to do it. A month goes by and I get a call from John Hughes himself. He said, ‘I’ve written a scene in middle of the movie. I hope it will attract you to be in our film.’ It turns out to be the scene that all the young women who watch it love. He just apologizes to his daughter in the middle of the night. He’s very sweet about it. Young women just go nuts about that scene. He’s an understanding, loving father. And [the scene] happened because I turned it down.”

Not that he always must play fathers. He is happy for any role that comes his way.

“I played Chief of Police with Al Pacino in Insomnia,” Dooley says. “I’ve played a lot of roles. I was in The Runaway Bride with Julia Roberts. I enjoy everything I do.”

Dooley has also returned to his improv roots over the years, becoming a recurring character in Christopher Guest’s company for improvisational films like Waiting for Guffman and A Mighty Wind. He also had a recurring role in Larry David’s improv HBO hit Curb Your Enthusiasm.

“When I worked with Larry David and Christopher Guest, I was able to get away from being understanding and sometimes cranky and sometimes loving and confused,” he says. “With Larry David, I was his father-in-law, but I was still a comic character. With Chris Guest, I’ve been able to do all kinds of different roles.”

It’s not as easy as it may seem. About 10 years ago, Christopher Guest discussed how hard it was to find actors who could fit in his films. Guest told me at the time, “This is a very specific kind of work. It’s not everyone that you can say, oh, yeah, just jump on.”

However, Dooley fits right in and feels natural in the films.

“My background was Second City, so I loved improv. I would always rather improv than learn a part and do it. Often, I think I could add lines better in an improv than I can find in what has been written in the screenplay. Some of them are very good, of course.”

Dooley has also been connecting with yet another generation of fans, providing the voice for Sarge in Pixar’s Cars movies.

“It’s amazing,” Dooley admits. “I’m naturally amazed they called me back for Cars 2. Then when they called me back for Cars 3, which just opened. It’s fun working with them. The first one, I did all these scenes with George Carlin, who was a hippy Volkswagen van. I was a Jeep, so I was the conservative, and he was the liberal.”

Working voiceover was a bit of a change, but it was a fascinating process for Dooley.

“The odd thing about animation voiceover is that I did my lines alone,” Dooley says. “[Carlin] did his lines alone. They come out together. It wasn’t much that I didn’t do my scenes with him. They always do them separately and then put them together. I loved being in Cars. It was great fun for me, because of wanting to be a cartoonist as a kid. That resonated with me.”

Dooley’s has been remarried since 1984 to Winnie Holzman, a producer and writer who has worked on such acclaimed TV series thirtysomething, My So-Called Life and Once and Again. She also wrote the Tony-nominated book for the hit Broadway musical Wicked.

“She’s not only a great dramatic writer, as she was in My So-Called Life, but she’s also very, very, very humorous,” Dooley says. “We make each other laugh every day. She’s charming and sweet. Generous and a great hostess. She loves everyone. If we invite friends over for 10 or 20 people, she’s about easily 10 times more charming than I am.”

In recent years, Holzman and Dooley have worked together writing plays, including Assisted Living and Post-Its. This experience undoubtedly contributed to Dooley’s decision to work on a one-man show.

Writing Movie Dad was a bit of a learning experience for Dooley, not so much as a writer but as a human being.

“I began to realize that there are memories, things in the back of my head, but I’m not in touch with them most of the time,” Dooley admits. “What was I really feeling in high school? How did it really affect me when I went to college? I did it, it was over, and I forgot it. I moved on. In writing, I had to go back and say I realize.”

It caused Dooley to explore some feelings that he had not experienced in a long, long time. Some of which were probably buried in his subconsciousness. However, even if it was a sometimes-painful process, it was also an eye opener for him.

“As I revived these memories, I kind of relived them,” Dooley says. “As I talk them on stage every night, I relive them. I talk about missing my children after I got divorced, and all that kind of thing. There are a couple of very dramatic scenes and moments in there. About times when I was not working and thought of myself as a failure. Maybe six months go by and I’m out of a job. I’d say: What am I doing here? Nobody wants me.”

Normally he is used to playing characters. It was a little different to be himself for an audience. In fact, one of the first lines of the one-man play is: “For the past 60 years, I’ve been pretending to be other people. Tonight, I’m going to pretend to be myself.”

“In other words, the story is my story,” Dooley concludes.

And the story is not over yet. Dooley has been performing Movie Dad at Theatre West in Los Angeles in a run from July 7-23, 2017. He had also done an earlier version of the show last year. Right now, he is concentrating on finishing the run. Then he will decide where to take the show next.

“I don’t know what the plan is,” Dooley admits. “Oddly, because there was a lot of interviews, a lot of interest has been going on in the last two weeks. Already, I was contacted by a theater in Boston, which is largely an improv theater. I didn’t speak to them, they just sent a message to my assistant, so I didn’t get the details. But they would like me to go to Boston to do the show. It’s a big improv theater, 90 seats, but they have an audience that shows up all the time. If I can work out the details with them, I may go back there in maybe October.”

And from there, who knows?

“If it’s successful in Boston, I might get some people to come up from New York to look at it,” Dooley says. “Maybe they’ll give me a review. I have some reviews now. I might use those reviews to maybe do an off-Broadway production.”

Copyright ©2017 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Posted: July 18, 2017.

Photos © 2017 Fiona Lakeland. Courtesy of Dooley & Company Productions. All rights reserved.

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