Diane Wasnac and Barbara Polk are divas but they had to share the stage with their co-stars, Bonzer, Bizzo and Cooey during their Christmas themed show Winter Woofs at Art Sanctuary and Alley Theater on December 10 and 11.
Families got together and people of all ages enjoyed the physical comedy of Wasnac, the interactive songs by Polk and really enjoyed the dogs' performances during this Divas and Dogs production.
Polk sang a song that encouraged the audience to bark along. Wasnac came out dressed as a baby and gave an endearing performance. She announced that her "Uncle Fred" was in the audience and then picked someone to pull onto stage before dressing them in a christmas tree hat and leather jacket. She humorously made him show her how to ride a bicycle, pretending to misunderstand and sit on it in awkward positions.
She then handed him a stack of bowls and a spoon. She proceeded to ride the bicycle backwards in a circle around him, taking a bowl from him each time she passed his left side. She would then put the bowl on her foot and kick it upward as she continued pedaling, catching it on top of her head. She repeated the action until the entire stack of bowls were on her head and the spoon was in the top bowl.
Not too long after that, she came out, walking on a large cylinder. One of the dogs entered into the hollow of the cylinder, moving with her. Then the other two dogs took turns being on top of the cylinder.
The most interactive piece of the show involved Pino pulling audience members up to be part of her symphony. Dressed as a composer, she directed each of them to play her unique instruments including things like a stuffed dinosaur with a whistle in its mouth, a triangle, a war siren, and jingle bells. She involved the whole audience by having them split in to groups to make low "unh" and high pitched "ah" noises. In the end, it all came together quite well to match a song that began playing over the speakers.
Polk returned for another song, but was accompanied by the dogs on their custom made drum kits.
Near closing was an adorable number with Pino and Bonzer. The routine was reminiscent of Charlie Chaplin as Pino tried to set up the stage with her props only to have Bonzer repeatedly steal her hat or close the box she kept opening after skating onto the stage on his very own dog sized skateboard. Bonzer also kept hitting a button to change the sign from "Starring Pino" to "Starring Bonzer". Bonzer's memory through the length of the routine was very impressive, and he made a grand exit, pushing himself off stage on his skateboard.
After the show, kids lined up to purchase pictures of the pups and get autographs.
These ladies have been performing since they were five years old, and the act originally only included Bonzer. When Bonzer gave birth to Bizzo an Cooey, they were trained to become part of the show as well. Wasnak also gives mime and clowning lessons. If you have a chance to catch this fun troupe, I recommend you take every kid you know. They are sure to enjoy it.
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