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THE LITTLE DOG LAUGHED presented by New Edgecliff Theatre through Oct. 11. Click here for more information on the production.
New Edgecliff Theatre begins their new season with a well-done and enjoyable production of THE LITTLE DOG LAUGHED written by Douglas Carter Beane.
Director Lindsey Mercer makes excellent use of the Hoffner Lodge space, and has cast a strong four-person ensemble to bring the story to life.
Kemper Florin is funny and appropriately cut-throat as Hollywood agent Diane. The opening monologue could use a bit more of the Diane “snark” that works so well for the character throughout the rest of the play. The restaurant scene with Diane and Mitch (Nic Pajic) is hysterical and a highlight of the show.
The relationship between Mitch and Alex (played by Jared Earland) works well for the most part. Mitch’s loneliness includes a physical component, so I would have liked to see physical contact during their first night together (some form of snuggling) instead of them falling asleep looking at each other. Also, during the “honeymoon phase,” I wouldn’t mind seeing a little more physical contact between the two. Also, the actors may want to cheat the confrontations a bit closer to the pole so it doesn’t look like Mitch is steering Alex across the room.
Vocally, Earland is not projecting at the same level as the rest of the cast. This becomes more apparent when three or four characters are on stage. Also a few character choices would help differentiate Alex from the character Earland played recently in “Funeral” as part of SERIALS! at Know Theatre.
Erin Ward does solid work and is easily believable as the emotional roller coaster that is Ellen. As two damaged-by-life kindred souls, Ellen and Alex’s relationship plays out well between the two actors.
On the technical side, in several of the crosses between playing areas, the actors would step into shadow and then the lights in the new area would come up, making the cue look late. The pre-show music was a bit loud and made conversations a difficult. The sound level during the production was right on the money.
The strong cast, smart direction and excellent script makes for a very enjoyable comedy that actually makes you laugh out loud. Great job.
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My rating: 4.25 out of 5