The Little Dog Laughed

“[…] to see such a sight, and the FORK ran away with the spoon!”

Luckily, my “virtual valet” reminds me that I have tickets for this Thursday’s (last night’s) performance of “The Little Dog Laughed” at Portland Center Stage. More gold at the end of the rainbow: I convince a friend to change plans and be my date.

The simple set consists of a bed, a couple of square hotel-sleek tables and two tiny circular tables with swiveling chairs. Sitting surrounds the scene on all four sides in black-box style. And the performance, by 4 stellar actors (an actor, an agent, a rent boy and a party girl), is hilarious!

Long monologues and narrations leave the play susceptible to poor pacing and hokey story telling, but the cast (and director) nail it. Even the one-liners roll by with ease, as if the entire playhouse is exchanging quips at a large dinner party. From a “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” retelling to kick start the show, the endearing characters weave their tabloid-familiar misfortunes, fears, love and dreams through short scenes and vignettes to a Stepford-perfect/scary, Cruise and Holmes, Hollywood ending. (It also doesn’t hurt to see attractive men bare all! I kept my head up, but my eyes certainly darted down every so often.

All in all, the performance made my night. The chemistry between the characters, their vulnerability and the agent’s bitter-sweet reality, perseverance and ambition have me mulling over my own life. Where can I be open to love and success and where can I get my own agent?

Local Reviews:

Anyone up for “Nobody Here but Us Chickens?” or another running play around town?

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