Animal Control (review)

Animal Control (review)
Animal Control (review)
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THE PLAY: An unfortunate incident at a dog park results in a confrontation at the animal shelter.

 

THE PRODUCTION: This show by local playwright Chandler Hubbard had its world premiere at Firehouse in May (here’s my review). It’s been reworked with 2 recast roles and even though my timer shows it running 10 minutes longer, it seems more dramatically compact. Each act opens with 2 people standing behind a chain-link fence (adding nothing to the show), but the first scenes between the shelter’s manager (Donna Marie Miller) and her assistant (Journey Entzminger) go on too long. While they serve as sounding board for the bosses’ anxiety, they don’t add much depth to the narrative and drag the momentum (the 3rd act exchange ran just long enough). As for the new cast members, Stevie Rice creates a menacing redneck whose final moments are heartbreaking. Margarette Joyner’s performance is not only compelling, but adds a welcome dab of humor. Miller’s arc is also more effective. Director Joel Bassin has tightened the tension, which makes the show completely compelling (when it sticks to the issue). Running time: 2:10 with 2 intermissions.

 

THE POINT: Once the conflict begins to unfold, this production handles a complex theme with thoughtful intelligence. More importantly, this production creates one of the most powerfully moving experiences of the season.

 

4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

 

At Firehouse Theatre thru 7/27

 

Listen to my review as aired on WRIR:

 

Donna Marie Miller, Stevie Rice, Margarette Joyner, Adam Turck (photo by Bill Sigafoos)

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