Review: 10th Anniversary PROTOTYPE Festival in NY Blasts Off with Du Yun’s IN OUR DAUGHTER’S EYES

Jan 2023

"Gunn's the real thing, the quintessential performer who lets himself be subsumed by the composer and librettist and his own elements to the painting coming to life in front of us: a kind of "Sunday in the Park with Gunn."'

- Broadway World

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“There’s something about going to a PROTOTYPE production–which run the fine line between edgy and inscrutable, in a variety of venues that calls for a special version of the Metrocard just to keep up.

An example? One needn’t go farther than the opening of DAUGHTER’S EYES, written for and with baritone Gunn. Don’t check your brains at the door for this one, either. The music by Du Yun–rich and cool, blaring and startling, performed by a small, edgy ensemble under Kamna Gupta–and the storyline will give you a workout, not to mention break your heart. (My only complaint: The amplification is sometimes overboard.)

Some seem to say it’s about a modern look at modern masculinity while others might wonder if it’s a comment on today’s touchstone issue of abortion. Whichever the case, baritone Gunn comes out pistols blazing in his man-cave workshop, as he awaits the birth of his child who surely will suffer from catastrophic birth defects. He’s figured out it’s time to grow up and put away childish things–or not-so-childish, in the case of alcohol–and put on his big-boy pants.

Gunn has shown a lot of guts in his choice of material, whether by Du Yun or David Lang (THE LOSER), Mozart (ZAUBERFLOTE) or Andrew Lloyd Webber (upcoming SUNSET BOULEVARD at Kennedy Center).

I don’t think he’s ever let himself be so naked on stage as in this, going wherever Du Yun’s breathtaking music and McQuilken’s vigorous text demand–a journey to become the man his daughter would be proud of (knowing full well that she’ll never have the opportunity to do so): an “honest reporter” who wants to be seen as worthy, keeping a journal of what he sees of his family’s lives and not just being a handyman who can put together a crib.”