Dallas — Keeping Up with the Jorgensons is a raucous affair tht doesn’t lack for humor. Writer and performer Jeremy Julian Greco manages to encapsulate the best and worst of his complex family life in recounting a single weekend trip with his father to a family wedding, with Greco’s good behavior (and on-demand footrubs for his father) secured by the possibility of a visit to that holiest-of-holies: Disneyland.
Greco’s a talented performer, and in some instances manages to convey entire characters in just a few lines (his portrayal of his chain-smoking mother is a particular standout), though some long conversations between characters, particularly Greco’s father and grandmother, are less successful. But overall, Greco and director Mark Kenward have created a snapshot of dysfunction that’s both funny and, in truth, upsetting; the coda from Greco discussing his estrangement from his father, and how his experiences have shaped his relationship with his own children, thankfully lends the play a more hopeful aspect.
In an odd coincidence, both this play and Justin Lemieux's Girl Dad, though not paired throughout the festival, end with a father putting his arm around his daughter, though the journeys to get to those moments are vastly different — serendipity in action.