David Rabe's new mob comedy, The Dog Problem, ends its world premiere production March 19 at Connecticut's Long Wharf Theatre. Performances began Feb. 9 with an opening Feb. 16. Roundabout associate artistic director Scott Ellis directs the play.
In the summer of 1998, the short Corners, which told -- briefly -- what happens to Ray when he meets his friend Ronnie under a street lamp on a city corner, was presented as a one act at the Williamstown Festival under the direction of Ellis. During the run, Rabe's second act was read, following the staging of the one act. Through the process, the play was expanded to include several mafia personalities all battling one another verbally over honor, decency and reality. And yes, there is a dog (this canine sets off the plot by joining in on an amorous encounter between a mobster and his girlfriend). Other Rabe plays include The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel, Streamers and Hurly Burly.
Ellis recently directed the Roundabout revivals of The Rainmaker and 1776, for which he received a Tony Award nomination. His Broadway and Off-Broadway credits encompass plays, musicals and revues, including Steel Pier, Company, Picnic, A Month in the Country and And the World Goes 'Round...The songs of Kander & Ebb.
Featured in Dog Problem are Victor Argo (Uncle Malvolio), Larry Clarke (Ray), Tony Cucci (Tommy Stones), Andrea Gabriel (Teresa), Michael Kell (the Priest), Joe Pachecho (Ronnie) and David Wilke (Joey).
The design team brings together Allen Moyer (sets), Michael Krass (costumes), Brian Nason (lights) and Eileen Tague (sound). David Leong choreographed the fight sequences. Tickets are $45-$10 and are available by calling the box office at (203) 787-4282.
-- By Christine Ehren