EXCERPTS FROM THE REVIEW
The following are excerpts from the December 30, 2016 Baltimore Magazine review of Dot.
Written by contemporary playwright Colman Domingo, the play is refreshing in its ability to bring humor, humanity, and hope to a disheartening situation.
In a year that seems to have dragged a lot of people over emotional asphalt, Dot gives you some wheels to ride the bumpy road. Sometimes life sucks. Sometimes families aren’t as close as Gilmore Girls leads us to believe they should be. People get diseases, they age, they die. (A lot of people seemed shocked by that this year: People die.) But, Dot shows that even when you’re mixing strong screwdrivers at 10 a.m. because your hair colorist is incompetent and your mother forgets who you are sometimes (like Dottie’s oldest daughter, Shelly, played by the always brilliant Dawn Ursula), you can have some good times, too. You can dance with your flamboyant YouTube star sister and struggling music critic gay brother in one of the most exhuberant pieces of choreography this side of La La Land.
It’s Domingo’s constant thread of joy and humor through all the other crap that makes Dot so entertaining. He doesn’t ignore the rough aspects of life, but he makes sure you understand there’s good stuff, too.
A wonderfully expressive Sharon Hope plays Dottie with a dexterity that brings the frustration of Alzheimer’s directly to your tear ducts, and then she bumps you back from the edge of sadness with killer deliveries like her description of Shelly as an “angry pineapple.” It’s Domingo’s constant thread of joy and humor through all the other crap that makes Dot so entertaining. He doesn’t ignore the rough aspects of life, but he makes sure you understand there’s good stuff, too.
It’s been a contemplative year, and Dot reminded us not to take it so seriously, even though there was some serious stuff. The show probably has some production flaws, but seeing the play on opening night was a true joy: the hilarious and heartbreaking performances, the attractive set, and the energized directing. When the show ended, the audience jumped to its feet as a thank you for the gift of this entertaining, meaningful production.
The show takes life and twists it around so all its realities are on display, then lovingly puts it back on the table to be enjoyed family-style. The Baltimore theater community feels like family, and Dot was the gathering we all needed at the end of this year.