; Fun! Fun! Vancouver!: Four Dogs and a Bone

Friday, 8 March 2013

Four Dogs and a Bone

Within the past 12 months, Vancouver has been host to not one, but two John Patrick Shanley plays. How fortunate are we? First we had Doubt, which is Tony-award winning play about the nun suspecting the priest of molesting a young man, which was subsequently turned into a film starring Meryl Streep, Amy Adams, and Philip Seymour Hoffman. Then there was Danny and the Deep Blue Sea, which highlights the chance meeting of two very different people in a bar, that becomes a highly charged emotional encounter.

Now, thanks to Egg Theatre Equity Co-Op, we get another high-strung and full of screaming matches production. Four Dogs and a Bone is an apt title for this piece about life in the movie-making business. Directed by Shawn Macdonald, the show features four brazen performances from its four stars: Robert Moloney, Michelle Martin, Andrew Coghlan, and Nadia Blanchfield. The fact that all this talent is just hiding in the back of the Havana Cafe on Commercial Drive is astounding, and you just HAVE to go see it!

(Nadia Blanchfield and Robert Moloney, photo by Gaelan Beatty)

The play centers around the making of a movie, with each of the four stakeholders vying for what's in their own best interest. We get the young starlet, wide-eyed with anticipation and jostling for a spot in the limelight. There's the slimy producer guy, whose sole job is to focus on the money money money. Then there's the ageing actress, still trying to make that big break but is perhaps past her prime and in denial about it. She too wants to manipulate the situation into her own favour, like the rest of the sordid characters. The stubborn and proud writer seems to be the one stuck in the middle, as it's up to him to make or break the movie with the stroke of his pen.

(Michelle Martin and Andrew Coghlan) 

Intense from the get-go, the show grabs you by the balls and doesn't relent for the entire evening. More than that though, the play is funny and had the audience howling in appreciation. Another play that I saw on the Broadway stage that dealt with Hollywood and such was David Mamet's Speed The Plow, and truth be told, there is simply no comparison. Four Dogs and a Bone knocks it out of the ball park and David Mamet can kiss its ass.

Four Dogs and a Bone is on now at the Havana Theatre (1212 Commercial Drive) until March 16th. Tickets available online.

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