Independent Weekly - April 25, 2007

On the boards

Poona the F-Dog
Raleigh Ensemble Players
Through May 5

The proverb goes, "A tree never hits the automobile except in self-defense," and Jeff Goode's Poona the F-dog & Other Plays for Children is the party at the scene of the accident. The play is better than Raleigh Ensemble Player's production, but the ensemble's synchronous enthusiasm and energy make it a worthwhile way to spend a Friday night. While no one stole the show, several performances stood out, including Jesse Gephart's sexy Shrub and Chris Brown as God (in a straitjacket), who says "The good people created Evil so they wouldn't have to pay for air conditioning" while sitting in a church.

There are some catchy musical numbers led by Poona's hilarious Fairy God Phallus (Brett Wilson), including the tequila song: "It'll turn anyone from a nun to a whore." The play is filled both with (relatively) subtle humor (the Fairy God Phallus shrinking and then standing up when Poona pets him) and the more obvious (the aliens, Cunt, and Jasper's Abbott and Costello bit on PC terms). While the motivation of shock value over wit has a few cameos, Poona the F-dog provides a much-needed voice in today's world with clever commentary on everything from sex-ed, mass media and consumerism to cyber crime, which is sarcastically described as "far less heinous [a crime] than possession of marijuana or being born black." —Megan Stein