At the Road, What Happens at the Pound STAYS at the Pound!

Leigh Kennicott Reviews - Theater
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We humans have anthropomorphized our pets long enough: now it’s time for them to let us in on their innermost thoughts. In Julie Myatt’s imaginative play we realize that our suspicions are confirmed. They ARE like us!

Of course, it helps to have The Road Theatre with its roster of accomplished performers and director Marya Mazor to combine expertise and empathy in order to bring the denizens of this menagerie to life. Long before the play begins, a pair of dozing dogs (actors J.D. Hall as Harold and Leandro Cano as Buster) lazily survey the passing scene. At first it may not be clear that they ARE dogs, until a frisky, people-pleasing puppy (Rahul Rai as Darrell) appears to run circles around them. Of course, they are all mesmerized by the wiles of feline Meeghan Holaway, as Candice, who, incidentally, can’t stand competition in the form of shy Lola (Kacie Rogers), hiding in a closet to stay away from Candice, and of course, danger.  Only bad-boy pit-bull, Jason (Patrick Joseph Rieger), doesn’t quite fit in anywhere.

Each of these cast-offs has a touching story to tell about how each arrived to a rescue household. And each performance is extraordinary in its faithful rendition of its own species. Accompanied by appropriate songs offered in karaoke style by the performers, they comprise the body of this touching play.

It helps, too, that the Road’s production team has surrounded the actors with a simple, yet appropriate, set by Sarah B. Brown, lighted by Derrick McDaniel. The human but specific clothing worn by each “animal” reflects their natures, as with the ‘tats’ Jason, the pit-bull sports. The sound (did I mention karaoke?) balances with the actors’ own voices --- no mean feat. And I can’t forget the agile fight choreography by Bjorn Johnson. If you care about your pets and wonder what they think of you, this play is the one for you!

The Road Theatre Company on Magnolia performs The Rescued Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 pm, and Sundays at 2:00 pm through November 11th, 2018. All seats, $34.00. Phone (818 761-8838 or online at www.roadtheatre.org.