A Short Intense Review of a Short Intense Play: ‘dEAD dOG pARK’
‘dEAD dOG pARK” playing now at the Philipstown Depot Theatre is one hour and ten minutes long and very, very good. “I’m not going to a play about dead dogs,” said my friend Mim to whom I recommended it. So let’s get this straight: this excellent play is not about dead dogs. It’s about a white NYPD police officer (played by Rick Apicella) accused of pushing a black teenager (played by Ildemar Lagares) out of a four-story window. There are four other characters: the cop’s white wife (played by Suzanne Blaire), his white NYPD partner (played by Stavros Adamides), the teenager’s black mother (played by Tracey MacAllister), and the black lawyer (played by Mark Colvson) who will sue NYPD. Each actor is convincing in each of the many short scenes. Playwright Barry Malawer has mastered his craft with rich, real dialogue and effective plot development. The sturdy yet delicate simple set designed by Chris Nowak is enhanced by effective lighting by Don Kimmel to keep the action quick and clear.
My friend Gretchen Dykstra, who recently moved to Cold Spring Village, came with Claudio and me to the play. Afterwards, we discussed the ending at length. You will, too. And that, I think, is the point of the play. The next morning Gretchen emailed this note to us: “You know I go to a fair amount of theater in the City, and it’s all too rare when I see something that gets me thinking and talking ... that’s the sign of a gripping production - so what a pleasure, as a new homeowner in Cold Spring, to know that the Depot Theater presents such productions.”
Just so you know, Dead Dog Park is an actual park near the George Washington Bridge, and this play is based on a true incident.
‘dEAD dOG pARK”runs from March 2 through March 18. It is recommended for ages 15 and up. Friday and Saturday performances are at 8:00 pm and Sunday afternoons at 2:00 pm. The Philipstown Depot Theatre is located in Garrison Landing, Garrison, NY. For reservations call 845-424-3900 or visit www.phWstowndeottheatreorg/. Tickets are $20 / $15 for seniors and students and can be purchased at www.brownpapertickets.com