The Tolucan Times
January 19, 2005

Nite Lights
by Pat taylor


If you only get to one live show this year, make it this one! “Bark!” is the most entertaining, endearing, unique, and joyous original musical comedy I’ve seen in ages! A pure delight, a Frisbee in the park on a sunny day, this show has been selling out since August and has just extended again until the end of February.

Six phenomenally talented artists perform 24 wonderful songs that let us take a peek at life from a dog’s perspective (some screamingly funny, others achingly touching). Precious pooch gestures, sounds, basic habits and movements, hilariously depict every dog you’ve ever known and loved. At the same time, through storytelling song lyrics and poignant doggy patter, we are privy to the innermost feelings of our canine friends. Inspiring the audience to go from explosive laughter to heartfelt tears, this spirited and meaningful show is positively brilliant.

Infamous composer, David Troy Francis, has written a beautifully creative score, interjecting musical styles that include jazz, ballads, blues, jitterbug, rap, old time harmonies, and comedic whimsy. Coupled with the ingeniously clever lyrics of Gavin Geoffrey Dillard and Robert Schrock, it is no wonder that this is a smash hit! The highly acclaimed and award-winning choreographer, Kay Cole, once again works her dance magic here as well as flairfully directing this perky cast of puppies.

Ah yes, the cast. Wow! Fresh, attractive, focused, and every one of them are excellent singers! I hardly know how to praise them enough! Chad Borden (a local Toluca Lake mutt), Joe Souza, Joshua Finkel, Lauri Johnson, Ginny McMath and Katherine Von Til are the “Cream of the Kibble” in musical theatre! Fantastic individually and pulsatingly powerful as an ensemble, my goose bumps had goose bumps.

I loved this lyric in “Dog’s Best Friend”: I need you, you fill my bowl. You need me, I fill your soul. Therein lies the delicate relationship between a dog and his master.

Give yourself a little treat, and see this remarkably uplifting show. It is truly fetching! It is running through Feb. 27 at The Coast Playhouse, 8325 Santa Monica Blvd. in Hollywood. For seats and times, call (800) 595- 4849.


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