A Dog Story, music and lyrics by Gayla D. Morgan is a new musical comedy about a career-driven lawyer and his quest to marry a woman in less than a month in order to secure a promotion. The plot left much to be desired and the character development was almost remiss throughout the show until its final moments.
The play was performed in the Loft at the Davenport’s Black Box theatre. The set was clever. Designed by Lauren Mills, it featured large white cabinets on either side of the stage whose cubbies were opened to reveal different signs to signify scene changes and storage for characters to interact with. A Dog Story was choreographed by Shannon Lewis and directed by Justin Baldridge.
Roland (David Perlman) is our career-driven lawyer that is unable to make partner at his firm. From faulty logic, Roland realizes that others have been promoted before him because of their recent marriages. The rest of Perlman’s performance was filled with his attempt to pull more depth out of an otherwise shallow character.
Roland’s best friend, Guy (Brian Ray Norris) is a womanizer that, despite being in his late thirties, acts as if he is scarcely eighteen. His lewd comments and aggressive nature toward women did not come across as endearing--his creepiness did not set well with the audience either. Norris was unable to harness many defining moments.
Guy and Roland make a trip out to the Hamptons where Guy believes Roland will find his wife, but he must “get a dog!” first. Shortly after his endeavor of obtaining his new companion, he is in pursuit of Blair (Stefanie Brown), a beautiful hedge fund manager that Roland believes is perfect for him. Brown was captivating when she was on stage.
Lastly, realizing that Blair will never love him if his dog misbehaves, Roland hires MIranda (Lindsie VanWinkle) to train his new puppy. VanWinkle is faced with a more developed character surrounded by thin ones and she does her best to compensate.
A Dog Story did what it could to win the audience with its imaginary dog and shaky premise. The cast lacked chemistry and some of their interactions came across as awkward. The show itself had some special moments, that, as a dog lover, I did appreciate.
Review By: Alex Lipari
Photos By: Jeremy Daniel