'Little Dog Laughed' is Convincing Look at Conflicted Relationships
The Bergen County Players presents Douglas Carter Beane work at The Little Firehouse Theatre.
The Bergen County Players presents the latest for this season – Douglas Carter Beane’s The Little Dog Laughed.
Beane is both a playwright and screenwriter – one of his best known screenplays is To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar. The Little Dog Laughed was nominated for a Tony award for Best Play in 2007.
The story centers around the almost-about-to-break-through-to-the-bigtime actor Mitchell (Craig M. Tiede). He is the everyman, that guy next door – “if he was extremely good looking” as another character puts it. Women will love him, there’s just one small problem, according to his pushy, hard-nosed agent, Diane (Elaine Davis): He’s sometimes gay.
Enter Alex (Gregory Hedler), a young man who makes his living as a male prostitute. A drunk Mitchell hires him one night – and rather than a single call, the two become close.
Mitchell, however, isn’t entirely gay either. He has a girlfriend Ellen (Allyson Stevenson) -- edgy, dating (taking advantage, really) an older man (who is only mentioned in regard to his credit card of which she has come into the possession). But while Ellen has considerable affection for Alex – she knows his heart has fallen for another.
Craig M. Tiede comes across as conflicted, yet confident. He brings out that hunger felt by anyone who has been on the cusp of realizing their dream, but conflicted because of other options he's facing in the eleventh hour.
Elaine Davis plays Diane with that perfect, cold, tough-as-nails but vulnerable oomph of a power player. She knows how to play the game to get where she intends to go.
Gregory Hedler brings Alex to life as the typical twenty-something akin to the charcaters in the musical “Rent”, full of angst and uncertainly but cocky confidence overriding it all.
Allyson Stevenson’s Ellen is the perfect foil for her best “friend with benefits” Alex. Already world-weary in her twenties, but still wanting more, she wants to really get her life started.
The conflict of the entire story is actually rather simple – all any of these characters wants is happiness. But alas, that is where the conflict materializes. As director Steven Bell points out in his note in the playbill, “To maintain your happiness, what ‘little deceptions’ would you be willing to live with?”
The Little Dog Laughed is being produced by the Bergen County Players at the Little Firehouse Theatre February 19 – March 12.
While this is an excellent production, it is intended for a mature audience, as it contains strong language and brief nudity.