Review: ‘The Dog in a Manger’ during We Happy Few Productions

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Lope de Vega, a author of We Happy Few Productions’ stream charity during The Capitol Hill Arts Workshop, was one of a many inclusive writers in universe history. Hundreds of plays and thousands of sonnets, 9 epic poems, and even a few novellas have been attributed to his pen.

Tori Boutin, Kiernan McGowan, Natalie Cutcher, and Debora Crabbe. Photo by Mark Williams Hoelscher.

The Dog in a Manger (also famous as The Gardener’s Dog) is formed on a fable. A gardener has his dog ensure his cabbages. The dog does a good pursuit and no one can eat his vegetables. After a gardener’s death, however, a dog still guards a cabbages, even yet now no one cooking them.

In de Vega’s play, a Countess Diana (Raven Bonniwell) has many suitors; she, however, is in adore with her secretary, Teodoro (Kiernan McGowan), who is in adore with a Countess’ servant, Marcella (Natalie Cutcher), who is also in adore with Teodoro.

The Countess can't acknowledge her adore for Teodoro given that would violate a manners of enlightenment and class; indeed, as a play starts Teodoro has no idea that a Countess loves him, and he and Marcella seem unfailing for marriage.

The Countess can't move herself to acquit a matrimony of her menial Marcella to a male she personally loves. Like a dog in a manger, given she contingency repudiate adore for herself, she will repudiate it to others.

Hence, we have a analogy; hence, we have a story.

We Happy Few’s prolongation of The Dog in a Manger is indeed a happy one. Intimate and spirited, a fast-paced frisk by adore in a Spanish Golden Age is guaranteed to lift we out of your doldrums. Characters literally overflow during we from all directions, commedia dell’arte style–minus a masks.

Bonniwell’s Countess lies during a core of this mayhem: like a brooding storm, she doesn’t secrete suppressed adore so many as righteous haughtiness.

The Countess’ womanlike environment of Marcella, Anarda (Tori Boutin), and Dorotea (Debora Crabbe) burble in impassioned contrariety to a Countess, with childish pleasure in love’s eternal energy.

Cutcher’s Marcella is inhuman in adore and, when she is betrayed, inhuman in hate, while Boutin and Crabbe’s other characters, a ruthless Federico and Ricardo, a Countess’ farcical suitors, take a clowns with a many devious and wit awards.

Raven Bonniwell and Natalie Cutcher. Photo by Mark Williams Hoelscher.

The Countess’ other servant, Fabio, played by a versatile Charlie Retzlaff, does his best to keep his mistress honest, though to no avail.

The centerpiece of a show, however, consists of Teodoro and his menial Tristan. McGowan’s Teodoro simply can't confirm who he loves, and he flip-flops marvelously but a snippet of regret.

Tristan, played with propensity by Louis E. Davis, is a loyal Italian servant: he’ll do anything for his master and make a gold of income in a process.

Co-Founder Hannah Todd and Bridget Grace Sheaff co-direct this silly adore feast in a Land of Lovelessness: a land where standing determines who marries whom and “whom” has small contend in a matter.

The scenic pattern by Jimmy Stubbs is a universe on wheels, with simple lights by Jason Aufdem-Brinke and fun-loving costumes by Moyenda Kulemeka.

I can’t contend that Lope de Vega’s The Dog in a Manger has many to offer a complicated universe other than a perfect silly delight. For, in a world, conjunction standing nor murder halts a upsurge of adore and sex in any and all directions.

Nevertheless, this We Happy Few Productions’ chronicle on a story brings that pleasure in duplicate.

And we are improved for it.

Running Time: 90 mins but an intermission.

The Dog in a Manger plays by Dec 2, 2017, during a Capital Hill Arts Workshop – 545 7th Street SE, Washington, DC.  For tickets, squeeze them during a doorway or online.

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