BEST LITTLE THEATER THAT COULD Phoenix 2005 - Stray Cat Theatre
We've been attending theater in this town for longer than we care to tell you, and if there's one thing we've learned, it's that smallish companies tend to either vanish after a couple of seasons or wind up doing crap to keep their doors open. Not so with Stray Cat Theatre, whose mission seems to be taking big risks with dicey, often untried material, and the hell with ticket sales. How else to explain its choice to do something called Poona the Fuckdog, a fable about, well, a fuckdog? And then there was [sic], a difficult, talky little dramedy that--thanks to superb performances and expert direction--turned up a smash. And while the kids at Stray Cat had a near-miss with Larry Kramer's The Normal Heart, it was a production dotted with fine acting, and followed up by the excellent Stop Kiss, a spotty drama that these young thespians pulled off with hardly a hitch, ending Stray Cat's season on a high. Hats off to this stalwart company's casts and crews, who rarely disappoint us, and whose new work we're looking forward to this season.