Mutt House

Critics

LemonMeter

89 %

Reviews: 19

Audience

LemonMeter

Reviews: 0

Ryan McCartan heads the cast of a fun and furry musical tale for animal lovers of all ages. Featuring 20 original songs and a cast of 10, Mutt House is the story of quirky outsider Eddie Corbin. Bullied all his life, Eddie has finally found a place to call home — a neglected downtown animal shelter. When the city threatens to close the shelter, Eddie must do something he's never done before: stand up for himself and fight for what's right. With the help of six zany mutts, he faces his fears and makes an unexpected human connection in the process. This life-affirming musical, in the tradition of Annie, is filled with singing and dancing fun for the whole family. July 10 – Aug. 5; Kirk Douglas Theatre, 9820 Washington Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232; $39–$59; free parking; 213-628-2772; www.MutthouseTheMusical.com

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Reviews

"The themes are clear, positive, and pushed by every character who takes the stage & four legged or otherwise. We are urged to be ourselves, fight the good fight and rescue a shelter dog thereby saving our own lives as well as someone else's. Yes, a vehicle this benevolent is designed to wag its tail and lick its audience full in the face. Unfortunately, the triteness and simplicity of Cookson's book puts a serious dent into any good will that director Ryan Bergmann and his mostly-hard working cast are able to muster. The six performers playing the pooches are appealing and delightfully costumed by Allison Dillard, but even they wear out their welcome. Instead of trying to preach to adults and misfit kids everywhere, the two-hour Mutt House should have shed 45 minutes and become a one-act family show with proceeds partially benefiting animal rescue."

sweet-sour - Evan Henerson - Curtain Up - ...read full review


"Ok, the Mutt House has everything you could possibly want from a night out enjoying musical theatre. Dancing, funny dialogue, and clever original songs that are very accessible, and genuinely fun."

sweet - Angela M. Cantoni - Fun with Kids in LA - ...read full review


"The music is hummable, there are laughs and the dog impersonations will elicit an "awww" from the hardest of hearts."

sweet - Patricia Foster Rye - Larchmont Chronicle - ...read full review


"Creator and book writer Tony Cookson leads with his good intentions, flirting at times with the preachy tone of puppet shows aimed at young children. Luckily he also has a playful sense of humor that, like a seasoned dog trainer, invites our trust, smooths any hackles raised by his more far-fetched plot twists and promises a lively romp."

sweet - Margaret Gray, Los Angeles Times - ...read full review


"This refreshing and exploratory piece is a true treat for young dog lovers, helping them make connections about animal rights, politics and homelessness in a relatable and fun-loving way. Appropriate for kids ages 6 and up, the character-driven show tackles a tangled web of character story lines with heart and humor, catchy tunes and canine choreography led by Janet Roston. Directed by Ryan Bergmann and created by Tony Cookson, the story does a fantastic job of aligning each character's sensibilities with the natural qualities of the dog breeds they portray."

sweet - Carolyn Richardson, L.A. Parent - ...read full review


"MUTT HOUSE is a sweet and charming story – simple yet tender and dare I say cute – about what it means to be human, or perhaps not, in a dog-eat-dog world. Director Ryan Bergmann does a superb job of helming the cast and crew through the doggy account, punctuated by 18 clever pop-rock musical numbers. Music director Anthony Lucca and choreographer Janet Roston keep the songs coming as the talented and very nimble dancers give their all to the tunes. Stephen Gifford's scenic design, Matthew Brian Denman's lighting, and Cricket S. Myers' sound add to the general frolick. A live band hovers onstage throughout the show with keyboard virtuoso Anthony Lucca conducting with the able assistance of his gang (Max Wagner (guitar and keyboard), Cyrus Elia (bass), Ian Hubbell (percussion and drums), and Brandon Bae (guitar and percussion)."

sweet - Elaine Mura, LA Splash - ...read full review


"Director Ryan Bergmann creates the right tone: comedic and light but with a sense that underneath the songs (music direction by Anthony Lucca) and the dancing (Janet Roston's choreography) lies a lesson about how we are our brothers' keepers as well as our pets' best friends forever."

sweet - Dany Margolies - Daily News - ...read full review


"In “Mutt House: The Musical”, a touching musical about a dog shelter facing permanent closure, the aforementioned nuances of dog-human relationships are not only magnified, they provide so many heartwarming moments that you'll want to run to the nearest dog shelter to the theater and adopt as many dogs as your landlord will allow"

sweet - Francisco Reyes, Living Out Loud - ...read full review


"It's a charming show, with joyous canine songs and superb dance numbers by Janet Roston. Creator Tony Cookson's message is clear: If you love animals help support No Kill groups. Otherwise, adopt one yourself and discover the love that always gives back. So, bring the grandkids – they'll love it too. And don't worry, there's a happy ending with catchy song “All You Need is One!” At Kirk Douglas Theatre."

sweet - Morna Martell, Theatre Spoken Here and Not Born Yesterday - ...read full review


Rob Stevens
"If you are not now and forever a Cats person and you never saw the short-lived Sherman Brothers musical Dawgs! then Mutt House, a guest production at the Kirk Douglas Theatre, may be the canine centric musical you have been panting for...The cast is energetic and in good voices, you just wish they had some better material to sell."

sweet-sour - Rob Stevens - Haines His Way - ...read full review


Ellen Dostal
"The songs are written by Tony Cookson, creator and bookwriter of the show, who enlists the aid of John Daniel, Robb Curtis Brown and David O to help create the 16+ numbers that make up the score. Most of them exist as stand-alone songs and are orchestrated by David O, which means the vocals come packed with lovely harmonies and melodies that are pleasing to the ear. Cookson's juvenile book, however, still needs depth and polish. At the moment, it is better suited for the After School Special crowd rather than for adults looking for the next smart, sophisticated musical. Sincerity will get you part of the way but a show needs more than that to give it legs."

sweet-sour - Ellen Dostal - BroadwayWorld Los Angeles - ...read full review


Joan Alperin
"This is an absolutely funny, beautiful musical with a great message that will definitely touch your heart-strings. I know it did mine. Everything about this production is great, including the costumes by Allison Dillard and the choreography by Janet Roston... ‘Mutt House,' brilliantly directed by Ryan Bergmann, is a musical for everyone. Even if you're not a dog lover, I promise you will be by the time the show comes to an end."

sweet - Joan Alperin - Los Angeles Beat - ...read full review


"Costumes, scenery, and choreography all made it an amusing and pleasurable evening out with the family, The show has a lot of heart and it shows through all the talent and creativity of the cast and the crew."

sweet - Chanin Victor - Santa Monica Macaroni Kid - ...read full review


Steven Stanley
"I expected to enjoy Mutt House because face it, there's nothing like a dog to melt a reviewer's heart. I didn't expect to fall madly in love with it, but madly in love I have fallen. For once a WOW! does not suffice. This one gets a BOW WOW!"

sweet - Steven Stanley - Stage Scene LA - ...read full review


Shari Barrett
"Directed by Ryan Bergmann with a real flair for the heartfelt comedy and true love which exists between dogs and humans, the shelter's resident pooches include a cool, salsa-dancing Chihuahua named Pepe (Gabriel González); a loyal-to-the-bone, shaggy mutt who goes by the name of Donna (Amanda Leigh Jerry), who shines while singing "When He Sniffs Me," an ode to the pull between lovers everywhere; a haughty, pedigreed and super sexy French Poodle called Sophie (Valerie Larsen who also portrays the elderly bloodhound Joanie in the opening scene); Review: MUTT HOUSE: THE MUSICAL Celebrates Acceptance and Unconditional Lovea rambunctious pit bull who answers to Bradley (Garrett Marshall); a handsome, man-about-town Labrador named Digger (Ben Palacios); and a pudgy Corgi called Max (Max Wilcox) who sings the show-stopping number "I'm Lying Here (Scratch Me)" that will make you want to run home and do just that to your favorite four-legged family member waiting for you there!"

sweet - Shari Barrett - Broadway World - ...read full review


Tin Pan L.A.
"Singing and dancing canines are taking stage at the Kirk Douglass Theatre this month in the original musical Mutt House. This world premiere musical about dogs is created and written by Tony Cookson with music and lyrics by John Daniel, Tony Cookson, Robb Curtis Brown, and David O. The show features 18 original songs and a cast of ten (four human characters and six dog characters). The idea of people dressed like dogs (although tastefully done here) singing and dancing is problematic because taking these characters seriously requires a combination of compelling writing and stellar acting; and in the case of Mutt House these two elements are widely unbalanced favoring the acting."

sweet-sour - Tin Pan L.A. - ...read full review


"It's a charming two-hour respite from the rest of the world. (And who doesn't need that right about now?!) And if you have a dog, I have a feeling you'll hug him or her even harder when you get home. (And if you don't have one, you just may feel the urge to rush right out to your nearest shelter to adopt one!) And don't forget to take the kids to Mutt House; they'll positively adore it!!!"

sweet - Karen Salkin - It's Not About Me - ...read full review


"MUTT HOUSE is funny, wholesome, and family oriented. It promotes love for animals and no-kill shelters. It's a good time that you can share with your family, and a wonderful opportunity to ignore reality and give way to make-believe."

sweet - Dena Burroughs - Dena Vida Salsera - ...read full review


Erin Conley
"Mutt House is an adorably earnest show. The target audience for this show is definitely younger-skewing—the plot is basic and formulaic, and the characters are fairly archetypal. The show shines brightest and feels the most unique when the focus is on the dogs, each of whom gets a song and a turn in the spotlight."

sweet - Erin Conley - On Stage and Screen - ...read full review


"The themes are clear, positive, and pushed by every character who takes the stage & four legged or otherwise. We are urged to be ourselves, fight the good fight and rescue a shelter dog thereby saving our own lives as well as someone else's. Yes, a vehicle this benevolent is designed to wag its tail and lick its audience full in the face. Unfortunately, the triteness and simplicity of Cookson's book puts a serious dent into any good will that director Ryan Bergmann and his mostly-hard working cast are able to muster. The six performers playing the pooches are appealing and delightfully costumed by Allison Dillard, but even they wear out their welcome. Instead of trying to preach to adults and misfit kids everywhere, the two-hour Mutt House should have shed 45 minutes and become a one-act family show with proceeds partially benefiting animal rescue."

sweet-sour - Evan Henerson - Curtain Up - ...read full review


"Ok, the Mutt House has everything you could possibly want from a night out enjoying musical theatre. Dancing, funny dialogue, and clever original songs that are very accessible, and genuinely fun."

sweet - Angela M. Cantoni - Fun with Kids in LA - ...read full review


"The music is hummable, there are laughs and the dog impersonations will elicit an "awww" from the hardest of hearts."

sweet - Patricia Foster Rye - Larchmont Chronicle - ...read full review


"Creator and book writer Tony Cookson leads with his good intentions, flirting at times with the preachy tone of puppet shows aimed at young children. Luckily he also has a playful sense of humor that, like a seasoned dog trainer, invites our trust, smooths any hackles raised by his more far-fetched plot twists and promises a lively romp."

sweet - Margaret Gray, Los Angeles Times - ...read full review


"This refreshing and exploratory piece is a true treat for young dog lovers, helping them make connections about animal rights, politics and homelessness in a relatable and fun-loving way. Appropriate for kids ages 6 and up, the character-driven show tackles a tangled web of character story lines with heart and humor, catchy tunes and canine choreography led by Janet Roston. Directed by Ryan Bergmann and created by Tony Cookson, the story does a fantastic job of aligning each character's sensibilities with the natural qualities of the dog breeds they portray."

sweet - Carolyn Richardson, L.A. Parent - ...read full review


"MUTT HOUSE is a sweet and charming story – simple yet tender and dare I say cute – about what it means to be human, or perhaps not, in a dog-eat-dog world. Director Ryan Bergmann does a superb job of helming the cast and crew through the doggy account, punctuated by 18 clever pop-rock musical numbers. Music director Anthony Lucca and choreographer Janet Roston keep the songs coming as the talented and very nimble dancers give their all to the tunes. Stephen Gifford's scenic design, Matthew Brian Denman's lighting, and Cricket S. Myers' sound add to the general frolick. A live band hovers onstage throughout the show with keyboard virtuoso Anthony Lucca conducting with the able assistance of his gang (Max Wagner (guitar and keyboard), Cyrus Elia (bass), Ian Hubbell (percussion and drums), and Brandon Bae (guitar and percussion)."

sweet - Elaine Mura, LA Splash - ...read full review


"Director Ryan Bergmann creates the right tone: comedic and light but with a sense that underneath the songs (music direction by Anthony Lucca) and the dancing (Janet Roston's choreography) lies a lesson about how we are our brothers' keepers as well as our pets' best friends forever."

sweet - Dany Margolies - Daily News - ...read full review


"In “Mutt House: The Musical”, a touching musical about a dog shelter facing permanent closure, the aforementioned nuances of dog-human relationships are not only magnified, they provide so many heartwarming moments that you'll want to run to the nearest dog shelter to the theater and adopt as many dogs as your landlord will allow"

sweet - Francisco Reyes, Living Out Loud - ...read full review


"It's a charming show, with joyous canine songs and superb dance numbers by Janet Roston. Creator Tony Cookson's message is clear: If you love animals help support No Kill groups. Otherwise, adopt one yourself and discover the love that always gives back. So, bring the grandkids – they'll love it too. And don't worry, there's a happy ending with catchy song “All You Need is One!” At Kirk Douglas Theatre."

sweet - Morna Martell, Theatre Spoken Here and Not Born Yesterday - ...read full review


Rob Stevens
"If you are not now and forever a Cats person and you never saw the short-lived Sherman Brothers musical Dawgs! then Mutt House, a guest production at the Kirk Douglas Theatre, may be the canine centric musical you have been panting for...The cast is energetic and in good voices, you just wish they had some better material to sell."

sweet-sour - Rob Stevens - Haines His Way - ...read full review


Ellen Dostal
"The songs are written by Tony Cookson, creator and bookwriter of the show, who enlists the aid of John Daniel, Robb Curtis Brown and David O to help create the 16+ numbers that make up the score. Most of them exist as stand-alone songs and are orchestrated by David O, which means the vocals come packed with lovely harmonies and melodies that are pleasing to the ear. Cookson's juvenile book, however, still needs depth and polish. At the moment, it is better suited for the After School Special crowd rather than for adults looking for the next smart, sophisticated musical. Sincerity will get you part of the way but a show needs more than that to give it legs."

sweet-sour - Ellen Dostal - BroadwayWorld Los Angeles - ...read full review


Joan Alperin
"This is an absolutely funny, beautiful musical with a great message that will definitely touch your heart-strings. I know it did mine. Everything about this production is great, including the costumes by Allison Dillard and the choreography by Janet Roston... ‘Mutt House,' brilliantly directed by Ryan Bergmann, is a musical for everyone. Even if you're not a dog lover, I promise you will be by the time the show comes to an end."

sweet - Joan Alperin - Los Angeles Beat - ...read full review


"Costumes, scenery, and choreography all made it an amusing and pleasurable evening out with the family, The show has a lot of heart and it shows through all the talent and creativity of the cast and the crew."

sweet - Chanin Victor - Santa Monica Macaroni Kid - ...read full review


Steven Stanley
"I expected to enjoy Mutt House because face it, there's nothing like a dog to melt a reviewer's heart. I didn't expect to fall madly in love with it, but madly in love I have fallen. For once a WOW! does not suffice. This one gets a BOW WOW!"

sweet - Steven Stanley - Stage Scene LA - ...read full review


Shari Barrett
"Directed by Ryan Bergmann with a real flair for the heartfelt comedy and true love which exists between dogs and humans, the shelter's resident pooches include a cool, salsa-dancing Chihuahua named Pepe (Gabriel González); a loyal-to-the-bone, shaggy mutt who goes by the name of Donna (Amanda Leigh Jerry), who shines while singing "When He Sniffs Me," an ode to the pull between lovers everywhere; a haughty, pedigreed and super sexy French Poodle called Sophie (Valerie Larsen who also portrays the elderly bloodhound Joanie in the opening scene); Review: MUTT HOUSE: THE MUSICAL Celebrates Acceptance and Unconditional Lovea rambunctious pit bull who answers to Bradley (Garrett Marshall); a handsome, man-about-town Labrador named Digger (Ben Palacios); and a pudgy Corgi called Max (Max Wilcox) who sings the show-stopping number "I'm Lying Here (Scratch Me)" that will make you want to run home and do just that to your favorite four-legged family member waiting for you there!"

sweet - Shari Barrett - Broadway World - ...read full review


Tin Pan L.A.
"Singing and dancing canines are taking stage at the Kirk Douglass Theatre this month in the original musical Mutt House. This world premiere musical about dogs is created and written by Tony Cookson with music and lyrics by John Daniel, Tony Cookson, Robb Curtis Brown, and David O. The show features 18 original songs and a cast of ten (four human characters and six dog characters). The idea of people dressed like dogs (although tastefully done here) singing and dancing is problematic because taking these characters seriously requires a combination of compelling writing and stellar acting; and in the case of Mutt House these two elements are widely unbalanced favoring the acting."

sweet-sour - Tin Pan L.A. - ...read full review


"It's a charming two-hour respite from the rest of the world. (And who doesn't need that right about now?!) And if you have a dog, I have a feeling you'll hug him or her even harder when you get home. (And if you don't have one, you just may feel the urge to rush right out to your nearest shelter to adopt one!) And don't forget to take the kids to Mutt House; they'll positively adore it!!!"

sweet - Karen Salkin - It's Not About Me - ...read full review


"MUTT HOUSE is funny, wholesome, and family oriented. It promotes love for animals and no-kill shelters. It's a good time that you can share with your family, and a wonderful opportunity to ignore reality and give way to make-believe."

sweet - Dena Burroughs - Dena Vida Salsera - ...read full review


Erin Conley
"Mutt House is an adorably earnest show. The target audience for this show is definitely younger-skewing—the plot is basic and formulaic, and the characters are fairly archetypal. The show shines brightest and feels the most unique when the focus is on the dogs, each of whom gets a song and a turn in the spotlight."

sweet - Erin Conley - On Stage and Screen - ...read full review