The Little Dog Laughed
Kirk Douglas Theatre
“It’s no secret that Hollywood power brokers are pit bulls in perfectly tailored clothes,” said Paul Hodgins in the Orange County, Calif., Register. But Diane, the superagent from hell in Douglas Carter Beane’s fiercely funny play, “gives the archetype a refreshing feminist twist.” Imagine Entourage’s Ari Gold in a miniskirt. She has her work cut out for her managing Mitchell, a handsome young actor whose “recurring case of homosexuality” threatens his career. This reprisal of the 2006 Broadway production of Little Dog confirms Beane’s talent, as well as that of Julie White, who reclaims her Tony-winning role as Diane.
White isn’t afraid of going overboard as Diane, a sort of “Mephistopheles who shops on Melrose,” said Charles McNulty in the Los Angeles Times. As Mitchell, Brian Henderson “plays the role of seductive cipher with an authentic touch of loneliness.” But when dealing with the nuanced relationship between Mitchell and a male hustler named Alex (Johnny Galecki), Beane’s play offers little in the way of emotional realism. This farcical fable ultimately “succeeds better with wisecracks than with pathos.” Beane might not be Chekhov, but he’s “a deft cartoonist who finds endless mischievous mirth in our worship of false idols.”