I opened The Washington Post today and found Peter Marks’ glowing review of The Dog in the Manger and thought “yep, yep, yes, yes! Exactly right!” Then I thought “shit, what’s left for me to say?”
Who are we kidding? Of course I can still find something to say.
Seriously – while I don’t agree with Marks across the board, I do agree with him on the big points: the show is great and worth your time. The translation is so well done that this 500 year old play has dialog that feels fresh while still being from its own time. David Turner is fan-freaking-tastic and riotously funny. The show’s a winner and you should go see it.
So what else? I’m not as thrilled with Michael Hayden’s Teodoro as he is, but he fills the role well enough. Maybe that’s just my feelings about the character, a man who is almost exclusively reactive through the whole piece. It’s probably the one problem the excellent translation simply couldn’t address and the one thing that’s going to be a little odd for modern audiences. There’s not a hint that Teodoro has ever thought of Diana romantically before he catches her eye and she starts to drop anvil-like hints on his head, yet it completely derails his existing relationship. It’s not an insurmountable problem but it doesn’t give Hayden a lot of room to excel. Continue reading