It is a thought- and laughter-provoking journey that delves into the Coleman genealogy, his boyhood years in Williamsport, Pa., his first unsuccessful attempt at a college education, a military career that led him into broadcasting, his days as a standup comedian, marriage, divorce, alcoholism, parenting, his now 15-year stint as a TV weatherman, and his current discomfort at being a middle-aged, single man.
Though much of his narrative is truly entertaining, what’s missing is the craft of the story-teller, the ability to organize and pace his material in order to transport the audience into the world of his words. Aside from his often too-soft voice and meandering presentation, Coleman’s movements are sometimes noticeably arbitrary and distracting. Also, his onstage ethic of always addressing himself to the downstage-mounted camcorder proves to be a limiting factor in his performance.
On the plus side, Coleman is remarkably gifted in his ability to analyze his heritage and his life. Particularly rewarding is his reminiscences of his father, a hard-working, chain-smoking, alcoholic salesman who could only relate to his son over a garden hoe.
Some of Coleman’s funniest material centers on why, at his age, “dating doesn’t work for me.” He proceeds to analyze, to hilarious effect, why it is impossible to date younger women, older women and women his own age.
In a poignant summing up, he expresses his regrets and concerns that his boys will never know the safer world he enjoyed as a child and, as he has managed to forgive his own father, he hopes his sons will forgive him for not being totally the father he could have been.
The children’s room setting of Molly Joseph proves to be a bit too inhibiting for Coleman’s movements. The softly swinging piano styling of Billy Rebel creates a pleasant pre-show atmosphere for the performance.