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‘Four Dogs and a Bone’ Offers Hysterical Look at Hollywood
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The always expressive Lila Claghorn, who co-organized Field Daze with Cathy Reinheimer last summer, will be among those taking part in the staged play reading of john Patrick Shanley’s “Four Dogs and a Bone.”
   
Monday, August 1, 2022
 

BY KAREN BOSSICK

Enjoy a scathing attack on the dog-eat-dog world that is Hollywood when five of the valley’s thespians presents Pulitzer Prize-winner John Patrick Shanley’s “Four Dogs and a Bone.”

The free staged play reading will be held at 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 6, on the patio of St. Thomas Episcopal Church. Sawtooth Productions will serve cookies and wine, and donations will be accepted.

Jon Kane will direct a cast featuring Matt Gorby, Lila Claghorn, Kagen Albright and Aubrey Jordan. And the evening will open with a touching reading from Courtney Loving of Paul Rudnick’s” Crafty.”

The play, described as a quick and brutal dry comedy, revolves around a producer whose picture is on the brink of financial collapse. He invites the film’s star out for drinks to get her opinion on what needs to be done.

Ruthless in her quest for stardom, she comes up with a solution in which the role played by her fellow actress is cut down to almost nothing and the conclusion of the film is reversed to give her character the exit she believes will put her name on the A-list. Meanwhile, the producer pleads with the young starlet to convinced the playwright to make the cuts.

It isn’t long before the other star manages to convince the writer to make changes to the film and its ending in a way that highlights her character.

The script deals with the egomania of Hollywood, a world in which human compassion becomes an afterthought in an eat-or-be-eaten world.

The play has its genesis in New York City playwright John Patrick Shanley’s own experience. Shanley headed to Hollywood in 1937, where he wrote “Moonstruck,” one of the most iconic comedies of all time. Three years later his “Joe Versus the Volcano” starring Sun Valley’s own Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan proved a historic flop so Shanley responded with an hysterically dark take on Hollywood.

“If you’re going to write a satire about the movie business at this very late date, it had better be very, very funny. In the case of Four Dogs and a Bone, that criterion is most abundantly met,” wrote a critic for the New York Times.”

The New York Post concurred: “Four Dogs and a Bone” is the funniest play in town, and the neatest, if kinda affectionate, evisceration of that ‘ol dream factory you will encounter in years.”

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