Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Little Dog Laughed, City Theatre, June 9 - July 3

The Little Dog Laughed City Theatre Austin

City Theatre Artistic Director Andy Berkovsky had wanted to do Douglas Carter Beane's four-character sex farce since at least mid-2009. The title floated out there on the City's season listings, pending availability of performance rights. When City finally got the rights and ran it for four weeks in June and July, the silence was deafening. Not a single review appeared.

The City has faced controversy with equanimity -- a year ago, Paul Ruddick's gay-themed comedy The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told played in this same slot in the season and drew demonstrators and on-line comment (a new one from Oklahoma City just showed up today on the ALT blog ( But silence?

Ruddick's play was a gay spoof of the Bible; Beane's play is a gay spoof of Hollywood, with the thesis that A-List Hollywood actors are obliged to cover up homosexual or bisexual identities because they fear becoming damaged goods at the box office. Perhaps there was no one willing to go to bat for Tinsel Town.

Ruddick's play was pretty silly stuff, done with the exuberance of consciously naughty adolescents. Beane's play is something more. He does launch lots of raucous cheap shots at Hollywood hypocrisy, incarnated in the character the narrator-agent Diane, played by Michelle Cheney. Beane's career as a screenwriter suggests strongly that in this 2006 play he knew what he was talking about. The core of the play, however, is the struggle between commercialized lust and affection.

Read more and view image at . . . .

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