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Woof, Daddy 

Wednesday, Sep 13 2006
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A father and a son go duck-hunting and, guns in hand, try to hash out the deaths of the mother, daughter, and beloved dog while the departed ghosts look on. At first the father speaks only in cryptic rhyming couplets and allegories — "To eat a duck is not to be a duck, but to be a duck is to be eaten." Playwright Bryan Reynolds graduated from UC Berkeley and holds a Ph.D. from Harvard, which might explain the layered language and the multiple meanings, but he doesn't shy away from letting his characters bust into fully choreographed lounge-singer routines and episodes of passionate sex on the side of the road. With skilled cast members (all of them pursuing graduate degrees in acting), director Amanda McRaven stages and paces each moment impeccably, shying away from what she describes as "tired vestiges of realism." The ensemble uses dance, movement, and vocal sound layering to convey Reynolds' haunting story of love, beastly secrets, and the deep connection between man and animal.

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Nathaniel Eaton

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