Friday, August 29, 2014

‘Bark! The Musical’ is a howling good time

Cast of "Bark! The Musical," now playing at the Wells Fargo Pavilion. Kelly Christoffersen/Courtesy photo

From page A7 | January 16, 2013 |

That’s the ticket

What: “Bark! The Musical”

Where: Sacramento Theatre Company’s Pollock Stage, 1419 H St.

When: 12:30 and 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays, 6:30 p.m. Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturdays, 2 and 7 p.m. Sundays, through Feb. 17

Tickets: $15-$38

Info: Show is rated PG-13 for mild language and adult situations;

“Bark! The Musical,” directed by Michael Laun with choreography by Jacob Montoya, is now entertaining audiences on Sacramento Theater Company’s Pollack Stage. A portion of the proceeds will go STC’s partner for this production, the Sacramento SPCA. Adoptable dogs will be on display at some productions, and a poster of dogs up for adoption adorn the lobby.

This show is somewhat of a phenomenon. After making its debut in Los Angeles in 2004, it received rave reviews, ran for two years, and became the third longest running show in Los Angeles history. It ran seven months in Chicago and has played in little theaters all across the country, as well has having had a Portuguese translation for showing in Brazil.

This isn’t exactly the dog-lovers’ answer to “Cats.” The scale is much smaller, and the dog-specific parts of the costumes (by McKayla Butym) are limited to collars, leashes and pads for hands, but it is as earnest as a puppy begging you to love it.

This a show built by committee. The book is by Mark Winkler and Gavin Geoffrey Dillard, music by David Troy Francis, lyrics by Dillard, Winkler and Robert Schrock, with additional lyrics by Jonathan Heath and Danny Lukic.

There are 23 songs that give us a glimpse at life from a dog’s perspective. Titles such as “Whizzin’ on Stuff,” “Fooood!” “Howling Just to Scare Away the Blues,” and “Dirty, Filthy Old Flea Bag” let the audience know immediately what to expect, though it is less clear with songs like “Mighty Mutt from Mars” or “Senorita la Pepita.”

Dog lovers will recognize each of the characters by their breed. King, the Labrador retriever (Armond Edward Dorsey), is missing his master, who has grown up and gone away to school. He awaits the day when they will be together again. His interpretation of “Dog’s Best Friend” and the later “Grassy Field” are both very emotional, while his story of being neutered was very funny.

Jessica Goldman is listed as Boo, the cocker Spaniel, but was unable to perform on opening night, so her role was played by Meghan Greene, from STC’s Young Professional’s Conservatory. Greene is a sweet and cuddly cocker Spaniel, though her voice did not have the power of her co-stars. She did, however, give a touching rendition of “Pound Song,” telling the story of losing her pups when they were rounded up by the dog catcher.

Golde, the bulldog was played by Miranda D. Lawson. Golde is the comedian of the group, always with a cynical, sardonic aside. Her depiction of a dog wearing a neck cone is hilarious.

Tyler Wipfli is Chanel, the French poodle. Owned by a gay couple and dressed in pink and feathers, Chanel’s favorite time of the week is when she and one of her owners listen to opera together. Her song “Il Cane Dell’Opera” was one of the highlights of the show, and displays her musical training (she is a Music Theater major, studying voice at Oklahoma City University).

Sean Patrick Nill plays Sam, the pit bull mutt. He and King vie for yard superiority. His “M-U-T-T Rap” is another highlight, which lists just about every breed in the book, comparing them to plain vanilla mutts.

Rocks, the Jack Russell pup is played by a “please love me!” Scottie Woodard, so eager to please and a continually wagging tail. Rocks presents the only real “story” of the evening, trying to learn how to bark, and getting lessons from the older dogs.

The dogs remind us that their needs are simple — a handful of kibble, fresh water, a loving hand to pet them, and a place to call home. “Bark” is a reminder to go home and give our pets a scratch behind the ears and a tummy rub and let them know how glad we are that they are in our lives.

And if you have no dog in your life currently, the SPCA will be happy to help you find your own forever friend at one of the performances.





Saving Putah Creek: a quiet concert at sunset

By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Mr. Dolcini goes to Washington

By Tanya Perez | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Winton to be feted for her many years of community work

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Davis Innovation Center team fields questions

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Researchers solve mystery of Death Valley’s moving rocks

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

California extends review of $25B delta plan

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Assembly approves statewide ban on plastic bags

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Celebrate the Senior Center at Sept. 9 luncheon

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Need a new best friend?

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Equestrian eventing competition slated

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Dinner, auction benefit Yolo County CASA

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Forum explores local mental health services

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Solar-cooking workshop set at Food Co-op

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Kids can sign up for a library card and get a free book

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

Explorit Science Center: Volunteers supercharge summer camp

By Lisa Justice | From Page: A4 | Gallery

Tee off for Davis’ continued prosperity

By Lily Holmes | From Page: A4

Bodega Marine Laboratory hosts open house

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Local group charts a year’s worth of beauty in flowers

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

Free blood pressure screenings offered

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

Name Droppers: UCD honors two of its own

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

Books, conversation and poetry at Logos

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7



Let’s sell the MRAP on eBay

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: C2

Seeing both sides of ‘tank’

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: C2

What if we need MRAP?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: C2

How could tank be helpful?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: C2

Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: C2

Don’t sentence our police to death

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: C2, 1 Comment

Will Davis see river water?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: C2

Travel buddy is getting too fat

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5



Forget the score; focus on the energy brought by Aggies

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

Returning seniors, new faces lead promising DHS links squad

By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Devil golfers return from Scotland with smiles on their faces

By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Devils scrimmage with Sac

By Wayne Tilcock | From Page: B1 | Gallery

UCD-Stanford: the clock is down to counting the minutes

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

Wire briefs: Aces cruise past Cats at Raley

By Wire and staff reports | From Page: B6

Sports briefs: DHS girls fall by the slimmest of net margins

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B6 | Gallery





‘The November Man’: Who can be trusted?

By Derrick Bang | From Page: A9 | Gallery

B Street’s ‘The Ladies Foursome’ is aces

By Bev Sykes | From Page: A9 | Gallery



Technology makes a great car better

By Ali Arsham | From Page: C1 | Gallery



Elaine Dracia Greenberg

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

Margarita Elizondo

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4