The Dog in a Manger from We Happy Few (review) – DC Theatre …

Imagine if a comedy from a charismatic SNL blueprint was intertwined with touching essay from a Spanish Golden Age of theatre. The result: The Dog in a Manger. This sparky delivery of Lope De Vega’s 17th century play blends meta jokes, farce, and governmental reflections to emanate a reduction of stimulative fun.

The Dog in a Manger transports us to a estate of a Countess Diana, a burning lady who binds her servants in an iron hold and grasps for a consistent state of control. When she discovers that Marcela, her lady-in-waiting, and Teodoro, her secretary, are lovers, she develops a jealousy that fast transforms into critical love. If she can’t have a lower-class Teodoro, nobody can.

(l-r) Tori Boutin, Charlie Retzlaff, Natalie Cutcher and Debora Crabbe in The Dog in a Manger (Photo: Mark Williams Hoelscher)

The chemistry and comedic talents of Manger’s close expel is what gives a uncover a singular vivacity. This isn’t a warn deliberation that We Happy Few productions are known for their parsimonious ensembles. Each actor plays off of a other with palliate and pleasure while bringing lovably particular tendencies to their roles. Teamwork creates Manger dazzle.

A infancy of a 7-person-cast plays some-more than one character. I’ll share a highlights of their portrayals: Raven Bonniwell’s hugely fluent eyes communicate Diana’s craving and fatality from a mile away. Kiernan McGowan balances a prolongation as Teodoro; personification a true male while adding in pieces of self-righteousness to give a impression flavor. Natalie Cutcher uses her bell-like voice to play an ingenuous, though feisty Marcela. Tori Boutin and Debora Crabbe chauvinistically blow about as Diana’s elegant suitors, radically being a Tweedledee and Tweedledum of a show. Charlie Retzlaff’s chronicle of Count Ludovico is endearingly naive. And Louis E. Davis executes a purpose of Tristan, Teodoro’s sidekick, with energy and tomfoolery.

Kiernan McGowan and Louis E. Davis in The Dog in a Manger (Photo: Mark Williams Hoelscher)

A fast period of well-timed earthy and written comedy serves as Manger’s foundation, featuring jokes that rip down a fourth wall section by brick. At one point, Teodoro “hides” by holding a chair among assembly members and reading a program. But it’s a show’s altogether zaniness that allows a still and thought-provoking moments to mount out, interjection to a work of directors Hannah Todd and Bridget Grace Sheaff. When characters take time to acknowledgement on their issues with relationships, class, and privilege, we wish to gaunt in and listen. 

The Dog in a Manger

closes Dec 2, 2017
Details and tickets

The elementary set pattern lends itself to a play’s conscious stupidity but going overboard. Actors pierce about a black box stage, strategically transforming elementary set pieces by discerning transitions. One waggish bit occurs as Diana smoke from a window that menacingly rolls closer to her servants. It’s like something out of “Jaws.” My one uncertainty is that several of a set square transitions are loud and distracting.

The Dog in a Manger produces copiousness of laughs alongside instances that naturally plead viewers to introspection. If we suffer slapstick with your amicable commentary, you’ll have a good time examination this production.

The Dog in a Manger by Lope de Vega . Directed by Hannah Todd and Bridget Grace Sheaff. Featuring Raven Bonniwell, Tori Boutin, Debora Crabbe, Natalie Cutcher, Louis E. Davis, Kiernan McGowan, and Charlie Retzlaff. Scenic design: Jimmy Stubbs. Costume design: Moyenda Kulemeka. Lighting design: Jason Aufdem-Brinke. Props design: Sarah Kamins. Sound design: Robert Pike. Fight director: Andrew Keller. Fight captain: Tori Boutin. Stage manager: Sarah Kamins. Marketing director: Kerry McGee. Graphic designer: Arnel Sancianco. Dramaturg: Keith Hock. Producer: Robert Pike. Production manager: Kiernan McGowan. Producing artistic director: Raven Bonniwell. Founding Artistic Director: Hannah Todd. Produced by We Happy Few. Reviewed by Emily Priborkin.

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