Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Did Little Dog Enjoy Last Laugh With Critics?

Did Little Dog Enjoy Last Laugh With Critics?

Last evening, one of Off-Broadway's more celebrated plays from the past season completed its transfer to the Great White Way as Douglas Carter Beane's The Little Dog Laughed opened at the Cort Theatre. The reviews are mostly favorable.

Joe Dziemianowicz of New York's Daily News is downright jubilant: "Shout hallelujah for Douglas Carter Beane's satiric fable The Little Dog Laughed, which opened last night at the Cort Theatre and delivers two hours of delicious good fun and a dazzling turn by Julie White....Don't be surprised after seeing The Little Dog Laughed that you giggle in your dreams."

Noting how "Beane's play is deeper on a second viewing," the Associated Press' Michael Kuchwara provides a positive critique: "Douglas Carter Beane's trenchant social satire that has transferred from off-Broadway to Broadway without missing a laugh. In fact, if anything, the production, now playing at the Cort Theatre, seems better, thanks to some smart recasting and a heightened sense of theatricality that director Scott Ellis has brought to the bright, fast-paced evening."

Summing up his three star review by calling the show, "[A] simple, fun evening, full of gay wit and wisdom," the New York Post's Clive Barnes says, "[I]t's positively cheerful....[H]eterosexuals should find the show just as amusing as their gay counterparts will."

While lamenting that "What looks clever and confident in an intimate house can sometimes look downright lost in a large one," The New York Times' Ben Brantley nevertheless offers heaps of praise: "The primary revitalizer here, along with Mr. Beane, is the marvelous Julie White, who is again at the show’s helm as the movie agent you hate to love....Her delivery of Mr. Beane’s dialogue ensures that theatergoers who thought that wit that both sings and stings would never echo again on Broadway without a British accent have cause to rejoice....[W]hat is guaranteed to give them a good time is Mr. Beane’s wily way with words."

Striking a similar tone, especially in noting how "[T]he play's flimsiness...is exposed more harshly in the larger space," Variety's David Rooney also laud's White's performance: "White's Diane made Douglas Carter Beane's uneven patchwork of a comedy enjoyable regardless of its flaws at Off Broadway's Second Stage earlier this year. Buoyed by one central recasting improvement, the play offers both more and less of the same in its move to Broadway."

Will the mostly positive critical success of this little show enhance its box office, which has been hovering at less than 50% capacity? I'm hoping the answer is yes, since I'm not slated to see the play until February.

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

Click here for tickets.
Related Stories:
Polls Close (But Another Opens) (November 10, 2006)
Scott Set for Laughs on Broadway (August 8, 2006)
Were Tony's Greatest Would-Be Contenders Off-Broadway? (June 4, 2006)

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