Agora International Press Corps 6-12-06

“Bark” at the Coast Playhouse
by Mara Kier

Have you ever wondered what it would be like if your dogs had the ability to tell you what they were thinking and what emotions they were experiencing? “Bark,” now being presented at the Coast Playhouse in West Hollywood, allows you to have this fantasy in a most entertaining way!

There are six delightful Canines featured, - three females and three males (humans – naturally – portraying them). They dance, they run, they frolic, they jump, and go through the motions of being dogs in a such a talented rehearsed style, that you can actually see them as dogs.

The Theme is done through song and dance. The lyrics are brilliant and well-sung and the choreography is amazing. The gyrations and movements of the “dogs” were superbly executed and the ensemble numbers were a joy to watch. For dog lovers, “Bark” is a particularly captivating experience, and even if you are not a dog lover, this play will make you one. The production is fast-moving and the songs go from joyful and raucous exuberance to poignancy.

“Bark” was produced by Michael Boustead, David Troy Francis, Jerry Ryans and Chandler Warren. The lyrics are Gavin Geoffrey Dillard and Robert Schrock, and with additional verses by Jonathan Heath, Danny Lukic and Mark Winkler.

Kay Cole, the Director and choreographer, is known for her “Renaissance” sensibilities, and has certainly brought them to this production. The movements of the male and female “dogs” were perfection in itself, and the expressions and grimaces on their faces were decidedly feminine and masculine. Kay Cole has had a number of prominent, well received past credits, which included “A Chorus Line,” “110 in the Shade,” “Camelot” “Mame,” and “My Fair Lady” amongst other famed plays.

The most excellent cast consisted of Katy Blake as Molly, Kristi Holden as Chanel, Ginny McMath as Boo, Jamey Schrick as Chester, Blake Pullen as Ben, and Joe Souza as Charlie.

Some of the standout numbers were “Seniorita La Petita Rosarita,” I’m in Love with Lassie” and “Friends Like Us.”

All in all, “Bark” emphasizes the love, affection and joy pets can bring. You will leave the theatre smiling and anxious to return home to your pet because, now you are aware of what he would say to you if he could – and you would want him to know you love him too!


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