Last chance to catch the latest from playwright David Rabe, whose dark "gangster comedy" Dog Problem ends its run at Off-Broadway's Atlantic Theatre Company July 1. Performances began May 8 for a June 6 opening.
The play, which received poor-to-mixed reviews, tells of two old friends get mixed up with the mob, who in turn put out a contract on a troublesome canine.
Playwright Rabe originally wrote the piece as a one-act. It was first staged last year as a full-length, two-act at CT's Long Wharf Theatre, after which more revisions followed. The Atlantic staging features many of the actors that appeared at Long Wharf, among them Joe Pacheco, Victor Argo, Andrea Gabriel and David Wike. Also wagging the Dog are Tony Cucci, Larry Clarke, Robert Bella—and Buddy, making his four legged stage debut.
Designing the show are Allen Moyer (set), Michael Krass (costumes) and Brian Nason (lighting).
Scott Ellis, who recently staged the Don Schlitz-Ken Ludwig musical, Tom Sawyer, directed the Long Wharf production of Dog Problem and helms the Atlantic Theatre cast as well. Author Rabe was most recently represented on the New York stage by A Question of Mercy at New York Theatre Workshop. His best-known plays include Sticks and Bones, Hurlyburly and Streamers.
For tickets ($40-$45) and information on Dog Problem, produced by the Atlantic Theatre Company in association with Evangeline Morphos, Robert Kravitz and Noel Ashman, at the Atlantic's home at 336 West 20th Street, call (212) 239-6200.
In other Atlantic news, the roster for next season will include a revue devoted to Shel Silverstein, a new play co-written by Craig Lucas, and a workshop of, Hell Hound On My Trail, a new play by novelist Denis Johnson, to be directed by David Levine. Also under discussion are The Night Heron, by Mojo man Jez Butterworth, and a revival of George S. Kaufman's The Butter and Egg Man. Dates and further details have yet to be revealed about the shows.
Regarding An Evening of Shel Silverstein, the late author songwriter, best known for his classic fable "The Giving Tree" and a host of rollicking, bluesy, sometimes-raunchy pop songs ("I Got Stoned and I Missed It," "A Boy Named Sue," "Cover of the Rolling Stone"), novelty tunes ("Freakin' at the Freaker's Ball," "The Smoke-Off") and children's poetry ("Where the Sidewalk Ends," "Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout Would Not Take the Garbage Out," "Peanut Butter Sandwich"), also authored a number of one-act plays, many of them performed at Ensemble Studio Theatre. As reported by the Times, he also collaborated with Atlantic founder David Mamet on Oh, Hell, which was produced by Lincoln Center Theatre. "An Evening of Shel Silverstein"
Lucas, best known for penning Prelude to a Kiss, is collaborating with actor-dramatist David Schulner on This Thing of Darkness. Lucas' last two Off-Broadway shows played at the Vineyard Theatre: 2000's Stranger and 1998's well-received The Dying Gaul. His 1984 drama, Blue Window, is to receive a revival at OB's 28th Street Theatre next month.
— By David Lefkowitz