4
| Theater |

WaterTower, Danny O'Connor is the Comic Hero in Zero

^
Keep Dallas Observer Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Dallas and help keep the future of Dallas Observer free.

Dallas actor and playwright Danny O'Connor first performed his one-man show Zero at WaterTower Theatre's black box studio five and a half years ago. Since then, he's lost 60 pounds and he and his show have gained some comedy muscle. Now he's a taller, younger, leaner version of Louis C.K. — the kind of fellow who wears his self-doubt, life experience and his heart on his sleeve. It's a long sleeve.

In Zero, O'Connor, who wrote the two-act play with his late brother Robert, portrays a group of guy friends, all around 30 and trying not to zero out career- and romance-wise. Leonard, an actor, is O'Connor's alter ego. Sam is a player who brags "I'm a vagina Jedi." Alex is just back from a tour of duty in Afghanistan, a little too eager to share frontline stories. Out for a night of drinking and bullshitting, they all have connections, real or imagined, to high school dream girl Mindy McPhee. Only one has slept with her, however, though he remembers little of the encounter, which occurred only hours before he sees his pals for their reunion.

Having performed this piece around the country for some years now, O'Connor expertly paces the quick back-and-forth conversations as he slips easily among the physical and vocal changes for each character. His writing shows a knack for sharp wordplay, as when the bar waitress sends an unexpected round of shots to the table and he calls it "a booze ex machina." We like this guy and he likes that we like him. When he speaks directly to the audience in the intimate studio space, he's bringing us into his confidence, buddy-to-buddy.

Info

Danny O'Connor

There's just enough melancholy in Zero to keep you from thinking the characters are jerks. Leonard is the one ready to grow up; his friends are still figuring it all out. But we like them, too.

The arithmetic with one-man shows is tricky. Can actor plus material equal success? With his five years of polish on this play, Danny O'Connor has done the math, making Zero really add up to something.

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.

 

Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.