I love dogs. I have four, or “four too many” as my husband says. I also have five cats and I love them too, but cats are different, independent and aloof, apart from the one that basically sleeps on my head every night.
But If you had to define me you would say I was a dog person. I bask in their love, their absolute adoration of me. I love how they always try to maintain eye contact with me as I walk around the house or the garden. How their heartbroken little faces mourn me when I leave and how they hover near the door, jostling for position when I return. I know how each of them needs to be touched and where and at the end of the day we all stack up together on the couch, each in our own special place. Yes, I am definitely a dog person.
Leandro Cano, J.D. Hall and Meeghan Holaway PHOTO CREDIT: Brian M. Cole
“The Rescued” is a play about dogs. A group of rescued dogs living in a house with a family expected back by the end of the day.
The human actors who play the dogs don’t sully their characters with cheap doggy imitations, no, they honor the souls of these beleaguered beasts with nuanced and complex performances as if the dogs were human, upright, fragile and flawed. There is also one cat, in a pink dress, who is as complicated as any of them.
The premise of the play is a day in their life. Two older dogs are sitting in their recliners or their beds, playing cards and discussing their lives. There are a couple of new arrivals, one a bit mean and defensive, another scared and hiding in a closet. There is also one very overexcited dog who keeps lists of everything he finds in the garden and is thrilled to finally have a home. And then there’s the cat, who once lead a life of privilege and struts about proudly, although she is just as broken as the rest of them.
How different are any of us from the damaged and forlorn animals abandoned and tortured and forgotten? When we see another person who is angry or aggressive or belligerent, how often do we ask ourselves what made them that way? A dog is made to fight, he is beaten into it. Isn’t it just as likely that a person is too?
This is a play about dogs, yes, but what makes it so profound is that with all their pain, their psychosis and their struggles to be happy we see in their eyes their humanity. They believe in each other, even when they disagree, they hold on to each other and reach out through the fear and the bad memories. They reflect what is best about us by being so much better than us.
Meeghan Holaway and Patrick Rieger PHOTO CREDIT: Brian M. Cole
The playwright, Julie Marie Myatt, has created a beautiful, heart-wrenchingly funny and inspiring glimpse into the world of these few precious beings.
She has fleshed out the characters with heart and light, they are real and wonderfully quirky and they also, rather charmingly, sing songs, familiar and brilliantly chosen, which reminds me so much of when my own lovely beasts ‘sing’ along with the firetrucks as they wiz by. These “Rescued” dogs do actually sing though, which works far better for the stage than a howl. The songs are surreal and magical moments throughout the play and I loved them.
Patrick Rieger and Rahul Rai PHOTO CREDIT: Brian M. Cole
I cannot encourage you enough to see “The Rescued” at The Road.
This warm and extraordinary play performed with bold brilliance and grace by each and every one of these excellent actors will astonish you. Don’t we learn more about ourselves and our lives by the creatures we surround ourselves with, both human and not? Bravo!
Running September 21st through November 11th
The Road on Magnolia, 10747 W Magnolia Blvd, North Hollywood, CA 91601
Jason - Patrick Joseph Reiger
Harold - J.D. Hall
Buster - Leandro Cano
Candice - Meeghan Holaway
Darrell - Rahul Rai
Lola - Kacie Rogers
Katie Witkowski - Producer
Amy Stoch - Producer
Maurie Gonzalez - Producer & Stage Manager
Susie Lever Asst Director/Asst Stage Manager
David Elzer - PR
Michelle Gillette - Music Director
Sarah B. Brown - Scenic Designer
Derrick McDaniel - Lighting Designer
Mary Jane Miller - Costume Designer
David B. Darling - Sound Designer
Megan Morn - Property Master
Bjorn Johnson - Fight Director