I'm not going to lie. I've never really gotten theater. Maybe that says something about my lowbrow tastes (so be it), but there's something about an actor coming onstage and speaking in that, ugh, theater voice that really turns me off. Of course, having lived in New York for nearly a decade I've been to my share of shows. "Rent," "Mama Mia," "De la Guarda,"The Music Man" and so on. I go. I have fun. I pretend I loved it, but I'm never really quite there.
All that changed last night when Michael and I saw Douglas Carter Beane's "The Little Dog Laughed." This razor-sharp, brilliantly written and gloriously acted story of "a closeted film actor, the rent boy who loves him, and the agent who sees love as just another irritating speed bump on the road to serious power" had me literally tearing up in laughter. Julie White is destined for a Tony as the uber-agent Diane and Johnny Galecki (Darlene's doormat on "Roseanne") is sublime as the hooker with a conscience. The two of them are given the most to work with -- and neither wastes a second of it. Tom Everett Scott ("That Thing You Do") as "the star" and Ari Graynor as Johnny's sometime girlfriend are also wonderful.
If you're anything like me, expectation is everything when it comes to entertainment -- so I know I risk ruining everything for you by claiming how great this play is. But for me the show was like when you hear about these women who've beening having sex for 25 years and never really saw what all the fuss was about -- then one day she gets a new lover who knows just what to do and suddenly she's a believer. Intelligent, topical and hilarious, "The Little Dog Laughed" showed me what good theater is really all about -- and now I'm so ready for more. (NYT)
Thursday, November 16, 2006
(Ticket info here)
Posted by Kenneth M. Walsh at 8:47 AM