Lacking a single redeemable quality, “Bark!” leads the pack as one of the worst shows of 2005. Set in a dog pound, a cast of six assume canine clichés in a musical so insipid and dull, it makes “Cats” look like high art. Looking for a quirky, pets-eye view of the world? Look elsewhere. Especially if you actually like dogs. The German Shepard is dressed as a motorcycle cop and dreams of being adopted by a Jewish family, a detail that seems vaguely offensive. The Pit Bull is a bad boy in black leather pants, and the French Poodle warbles in a French accent. Genius stuff. Really. The lyrics aren’t any better: “I want a family/with children 1,2,3/who want to play with me.” (There are five credited lyricists, and one suspects it’s an effort to spread the blame around a little.) The show supposedly has an Off-Broadway run in its future, but I can’t see why. The most profound emotion I felt throughout this two-hour debacle was a deep and thorough embarrassment for the actors. Put this dog to sleep. (Nina Metz)
This production is now closed.