Solace is often hard to find for the long-suffering Browns fan.
"Dawg Pounded" provides just that -- a rare form of healthy therapy for Browns fans.
A few weeks ago, I wrote an article here on DBN previewing "Dawg Pounded," giving an inside look into the Browns-themed play. This past weekend, I had the opportunity to see the show at Kennedy's Theatre at Playhouse Square. I was not disappointed.
Browns fans might be skeptical about stepping foot into a theatre, but "Dawg Pounded" is far from formal. It is a personal show that will hit home with every fan in the audience. Featuring a mix of dialogue and song, the show takes place in a small, homely atmosphere. It's a bit like being at a crowded bar full of Browns fans on a fall Sunday afternoon.
The play's plot mirrors the 2014 season, weaving in many elements of last season's ups and downs. Johnny Manziel, Ray Farmer, and others make cameo appearances in the script and songs. Any Browns fan who paid attention last season will chuckle at the wealth of inside jokes sprinkled in.
Diehard fans will also appreciate the many history lessons throughout the play. The 1964 NFL Championship, The Drive, and The Move are all highlighted along the way. Writer Tim Tyler's clever references and sly jokes are in good taste and entertaining.
In addition to the superb script, the actors are excellent. Paul (Tom Hill) and Otto (Greg Mandryk) form a great duo that aptly carries the dialogue throughout the entire play. Pittsburgh Pete (Don Jones) is a silly but believable character that Browns fans will immediately compare to unsavory individuals in their lives.
Each actor is a veteran, and it showed. The trio did not have any noticeable errors, acting out the lines with near perfection.
Along with the acting, a hidden strength of the play is the crew of singers. Tyler's songs, set to popular songs, are brilliantly written, although they can be difficult to memorize. The complexity of the songs didn't faze the actors, however, as the songs worked perfectly. Perhaps the best song was Tyler's re-write of Billy Joel's "We Didn't Start the Fire," which compacted nearly 70 years of Browns history into three minutes, an impressive feat.
Overall, the play was brilliant. Browns fans will love the show's attention to detail and realistic approach. Rarely does a play or movie capture the essence of being a Browns fan, but "Dawg Pounded" does just that. I can't recommend it highly enough.
"Dawg Pounded" will show at Kennedy's Theatre at Playhouse Square on July 31 and August 1, 7-8. The play will then run at Hofbrauhaus Cleveland on August 15, 21-22, 28-29; September 5, 11-12, 18-19, and 25-26. The play begins at 8 p.m. for each showing.