(Neil Genzlinger’s article appeared in The New York Times, 1/16; Via Pam Green.)
Mac Wellman’s experimental plays tend to go by in a mystifying blur, and “The Offending Gesture” at the Connelly Theater is no exception. But this blur is particularly enjoyable, a concoction involving Hitler’s dog, a Finnish guy’s dog, Iraq and the absurdities of international relations. Oh, and musical cats.
Mr. Wellman takes as his starting point a historical tidbit from the early 1940s: a Finn named Tor Borg whose dog Jackie could approximate the Nazi salute, something that annoyed German officials. But this play, co-produced by the Tank and 3-Legged Dog, is no history play. A sizable chunk of it consists of conversations between Jackie (Kristine Haruna Lee, who makes a delightful dog) and Hitler’s own dog Blondi (Abby Rosebrock, also delightful). Blondi cannot execute the offending gesture, something she and Jackie discuss frequently and circularly while the world goes to pieces around them.