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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Talking About Dogs

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Holly Hughes' artistic trajectory is a bit difficult to chart. Best known for her connection to work that caused conservative types to question the National Endowment for the Arts, Hughes has been recognized for performance art that is deeply political. She's made a name for herself exploring sexuality and body image among other things. Her latest work focuses on her considerably less controversial love of dogs.

Hughes comes to town via Theatre Gigante to perform her one-woman Dog and Pony Show at Paddy's Pub this weekend. The show focuses on Hughes as she gives up life as a "professional lesbian," and gets a job at a university where she promptly picks up a collection of dogs.

Hughes' straightforward, conversational delivery should be a perfect fit for Theatre Gigante's choice of venue, which in this case happens to be a small Irish Pub on the East Side. Animal-human relations will be discussed in the intimate pub as Hughes talks anecdotally about the process whereby aging allows us to relate to the rest of the animal world with that much more of a direct connection. Hughes uses a casual, meandering narrative voice that never tries to force too much structure into the monologue. Above all, this is a person talking about pets. And it just wouldn't be a show if it weren't articulated with Hughes' distinctly witty style of presentation.

Theatre Gigante presents Holly Hughes' The Dog and Pony Show July 19-21 at Paddy's Pub, 2339 N. Murray Ave. For ticket reservations, call 414-961-6119.

Theater Happenings


  • The Greendale Community Theatre opens its production of Aida next week. Erica Brown stars as the title character in the hit musical by Elton John and Tim Rice. The modern musical based on the classic Verdi opera runs June 19-28 at Greendale High School Auditorium. For ticket reservations, call 414-423-2700 ext. 4193.
  • Off the Wall Theatre continues into the summer with a production of Terrence McNally's The Ritz. Dale Gutzman directs the mid-1970s farce set in a gay bathhouse in Manhattan. The show, which stars familiar cast members such as Karl Miller, Jeremy Welter and Kristin Pagenkopf, runs July 26-Aug. 5 at 127 E. Wells St. For ticket reservations, call 414-327-3552.