Theater Dog


“Wow, not a single joke in there, except for the title,” Fido said.

“You expected a comedy?”

“I figured “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woof!” was about dogs. It’s in the title.”

“Oh Fido, you have been misled once again.  It’s not ‘woof!’ as in a bark, it’s ‘Woolf’ as in a name.”

“They should have made that clear. I am easily misled.”

“You were a good sport about it, though, Fido,” I said. “You didn’t fidget at all. I don’t know how you can sleep through a production like that.”

“I’m a Theater Dog, through and through.”

“A theater dog?”

“Yeah, that’s what they call us. We’re a special breed.”

“Please go on.”

“There’s a playwright in New York named Paul Rudnick, and he says some jokes are so ‘inside theater’ that only theater dogs can hear them.”

“That’s funny. You buy that?”

“I do,” Fido said. “I used to know a dog named Fanny Brice.”

“You’re kidding me, Fido.”

“Not at all. She used to accompany her human companion to work at Berkeley Repertory Theatre, so she qualifies as a theater dog. She’s a chocolate lab mix rescue from the San Francisco SPCA, and for a while there, she was the Theater Dog.”

“I have a feeling you’re pulling my leg, Fido.”

“Who? Me? I would never dream of it, heh, heh.”

“OK then, I’ll bite. Tell me more.”

“There is the Kitchen Dog Theater. And the Dog Story Theater in Michigan. And there’s the Stray Dog Theater, The Dog Theater, the Aux Dog Theater and the Walking the Dog Theater.”

“I had no idea.”

“A lot of humans don’t. They’re too self-centered.”

“And what kind of plays do theater dogs produce?”

“Oh, we run the gamut,” Fido said. “The same as humans. But I’d say we are a little more grounded.”

“OK, then, give me an example of a dog play.”

“Well,” Fido said, “how about Doglet? It’s the story of a Danish Broholmer named Prince. He gets into a lot of trouble.”

“So it’s a tragedy?”

“No! I’m a dog! Everything’s a comedy!”

“What other plays do dogs perform?”

“One of my favorites is ‘A Streetcar Named Desire.’ It’s set in New Orleans, and it’s about the adventures of a dog going to the pet store for biscuits.”

“You might have this just a wee bit wrong, Mr. Beeg,” I said.

“And there is ‘A Flea in Her Ear’ by Georges Feydeau,” Fido said, “and that really gets the audience going, every time.”

“I have the distinct feeling that you are pulling my leg, Fido. This all started with ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, and how you got all mixed up by the title.”

“But … but … how about ‘The Rover?’ It’s a play about a dog named Rover! It’s by Aphra Behn.”

“Something tells me you’re just stringing me along, so to speak,” I said.

“Oh well,” Fido said, “it was fun while it lasted, and you know what they say.”

“Which is?”

“All’s Well That Ends Well.”