It'll be a mob scene at the opening night of David Rabe's new comedy, Dog Problem, at Off-Broadway's Atlantic Theatre Company, June 6. In fact, it'll be a mob scene all the nights that the show plays, through closing date July 1.
That's because the play is a "gangster comedy" in which 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.
Previews for Dog Problem began May 8. 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.
—By David Lefkowitz
and Murdoch McBride