DOG at the Hollywood Fringe – Gia On The Move
By Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move
Copyright © 2022 Gia On The Move
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission requests, write to the publisher, addressed “Attention: Permissions Coordinator”. For more information please review our reprints and permissions page.
It’s been quite the decade for playwright and performer, Ben Moroski. Since his 2012 debut of his autobiographical one-man show, “This Vicious Minute”, Moroski has been a notable solo story creator in Los Angeles theater.
Delivering one deliciously bizarre narrative after another, his award-winning Hollywood Fringe hits like, “The Wake” (HFF14) and “TILT” (HFF16), and now a new solo play have all but proclaimed a rising trajectory that doesn’t seem to be letting up anytime soon. DOG, written and performed by himself and directed by Jordan Lane Shappell, confirms that Moroski’s inspiring genius has further evolved. His skills, edge, enthusiasm for storytelling, and intensity in the work have not wavered.
DOG is a searing dark comedy about a man coping with the death of his dog through beer, liquor, and football. It is a heady, gritty, gross, choppy, embarrassing, sickening, appalling deep dive into psychological anatomy. It is also equally exhilarating and extraordinarily beautiful as we watch Dog’s downward spiral all the way to the lowest circle of personal hell. None of it is easy.
Moroski’s performance is evocative; pulsating raw emotion through the lightning blackouts of his highly charged state. Seeking redemption through the most primal aspects of his character in order to pull himself out of denial and guilt. He has incredible command of his own internal language and yet is able to get lost inside of it with abandon. His drunken confession is unrepentant and pure.
DOG is also absolutely brilliant in its use of stage lighting as it goes even deeper into conveying emotion, time, and space. The whole production registers high comedy through one of the most shocking emotional landslides that Moroski himself has quite possibly ever taken in a theatrical performance. He hides nothing.
DOG the production and Dog (Moroski) on stage are both stunningly grounded in internal reality resulting in a 1-hour piece that is blatantly original, mesmerizing, and rewarding – a level of excellence. Bar none.