Dog Sees God Review
There comes a time where we all realize we have to grow up. This question is at the center of Struble Project Dog Sees God, but is lacking from the minds of the cast and crew. How else can you explain a group of college students putting on a play for 17 year old virgins who have just seen Larry Clark’s Kids. The play–which follows the exploits of the old Peanuts gang as they navigate high school life–was trite to be polite. This was like watching an episode of Rugrat’s All Grown Up that tried too hard to get a TV-14 Rating. I can honestly say that, without embellishment, Dog Sees God is one of the worst student theater I’ve seen on campus since Waa-Mu’s Double Feature at Hollywood and Vine.
Let’s start with the director, Henry Bock. What do we know about him? What does it say about him that his passion project play features more slurs than George Wallace’s private diary? Bock directs with the steady hand of a seasoned veteran, and the music taste of a sad seventeen year old girl. Two of his largest directing choices feature a miniature blow up swimming pool, and a bottle of Listerine with a balloon floating off of it. Ivo Van Hove would be rolling in his grave, if he wasn’t still alive and directing Hedda Gabler on the West End.
I would have much preferred watching videos of Michael Vick’s dog fighting ring than watch the cast of Dog whisper through their lines again. I would say they were chewing the scenery but the production design was more barren than the Gobi Desert. The actor leaving the most on the line is Ryan Savage, but that’s just because he ran into a panel and literally left his blood all over the stage on the way to the hospital. There are some standouts among the peasantry: Katie Chang gives her best performance since playing herself in Le Grand Journal De Canal+ in 2011, and Chase Doggett fakes piano performance in the best display of fake musical talent since David Archuleta.
To be fair to the cast and director, they’re doing their best to breathe life into a script that seems to have been pulled off one of those fan fiction sites that starts with: “How do I take something beloved, and make it racist?” Bert D. Royal wrote an unauthorized parody of Peanuts, but calling it parody gives it too much credit, and also makes it sound more like a fun romp through grown up characters, instead of a contest to see what’s more shocking: to hear Charlie Brown say gay slurs, or for Pigpen to say the N word. I hope that Charles Schultz stabs him in the eye with a pen in Hell.
Dog Sees God was a bukkake of a show and I wouldn’t wish attending it on my worst enemy. However, it was still better than this year's Dolphin Show. C- Below Average.
Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead will be at the Stuble Theater Saturday 3/4 at 7pm and Sunday at 5pm & 8pm
-Clint Taurus and Penis Philbin