My question is, when is “Bad Dog 2” coming to a theater near me? “Bad Dog,” written by acclaimed writer, Jennifer Hoppe-House and directed by Jeremy B. Cohen is a contemporary show featuring the area’s best talent. It’s comical, dramatic, and unmistakably relevant in today’s 21st century society. The story takes place in California where a not so orthodox middle-aged Jewish lady finds herself in a tragic state of affairs warranting the unwanted intervention of family members from across the country. Themes central to the play include sexual orientation, drug abuse, addiction, physical abuse and an overall look at family dynamics.
…featuring the area’s best talent… [BAD DOG is] comical, dramatic, and unmistakably relevant…
Leading lady, Holly Twyford, portrays the loving yet pitiful Molly Drexler. A women battling the clenching hands of addiction, Molly finds herself with no were to run when faced with painful memories from her past and the possibility of losing her wife, Abby. Alyssa Wilmoth Keegan, plays the part of Abby, Molly’s responsible, supportive, educated wife. Both actresses are spectacular in their perspective roles. Twyford is extremely funny and witty when delivering her lines as Keegan is instrumental reacting to the audacities of Twyfords character Molly and her dysfunctional family. Emily Townley, portraying Linda Drexler, Molly’s sister is a card to say the least. Her character introduces sarcasm, and an “in your face” dominant personality to the dysfunctional mix of family dynamics. The confidence displayed by Townley in her performance as Linda Drexler is undeniable.
Playing Molly’s more passive understanding sibling, Becky Drexler, is the well-rounded seasoned actress Amy McWilliams. She works tirelessly to keep peace among family members and convince Molly to seek the help she so desperately needs. Townley and McWilliams are a great team providing a lot of support to the storyline in an over so entertaining manner. Bringing Estelle Getty “Golden Girls” type comical relief to the stage is Lois, Molly’s mother, played by Naomi Jacobson. What an impressive portrayal of a woman scorned! Jacobson is right on target as she delivers verbal punches to her ex-husband Walter Drexler (Lee Erickson) and his over the top Latin wife Sondra, played by Gladys Rodriguez, a well-known established Puerto Rican actress performing shows to both English and Spanish-speaking audiences. Erickson’s performance was nothing short of admirable. He does an awesome job defending himself as the only male in the female dominated family. His character adds a nostalgic feel of an America of days gone by. He embraces old-fashioned values as well as embracing his own selfish desires.
I absolutely love the character development of Lois and Sondra. It’s a classic situation of two women who couldn’t be more different yet seem to have both fallen in love with and have been loved by the same man. Supporting actor Carlos Saldana, plays several roles as the cop, Kaufman, and contractor, which is a true measure of this actor’s talent. He is seamless at switching roles and creates a unique character type for each part.
The make-up, and costumes were well done. Most impressive is the make-up done for Molly after she has her accident. The set is among the best I have ever seen in live theater. Scenic Designer, Tony Cisek and his crew created a masterpiece. It is absolutely beautiful, well-crafted, detail oriented and a magnificent use of stage space.
So what about the dog? That my friend you will need to find out on your own. The show is a must see you won’t want to miss. It is being performed at the Olney Theatre Center as part of the Women’s Voices Theatre Festival.
Running Time: Approximately one hour and 45 minutes, with one 15-minute intermission.
Bad Dog plays through October 25, 2015 at Olney Theatre Center’s Mulitz-Gudelsky Theatre Lab, 2001 Sandy Spring Road, in Olney, MD. For tickets, call the box office at (301) 924-3400, or click here.