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It’s not puppy love: ‘Men Are Dogs’ plays up romance woes

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These men are in the doghouse!

The Narrows Community Theater is unleashing a hometown comedy about women driven to therapy by horn-dog men. In “Men Are Dogs,” opening on Feb. 19 at St. Patrick’s Catholic School in Bay Ridge, the fairer sex may take center stage, but the show is not just for the ladies, the playwright said.

“It’s good natured man-bashing,” said Joe Simonelli. “But certainly bring the men — they’ll laugh just as much because they’ll recognize themselves in the characters.”

For inspiration, the Bay Ridge-born playwright asked his female friends for their ruff-est experiences with men, leading to stories he said were too good to be made up.

The main character, therapist Dr. Cecelia Monahan, counsels a female literary agent who only gets dates from aspiring authors, and deals with a stress therapist driven to incandescent rage by her terrible outings with men. Meanwhile, Monahan has her own relationship troubles, fending off the delivery man her meddling mother keeps trying to set her up with.

The rocky relationships in “Men Are Dogs” will be familiar to anyone who has braved the seas of dating, and so will the humor borne of heartbreak, said the play’s director.

“A lot of people will relate,” said Dawn Barry Hansen. “When you take a step back, the things that you go through can really be funny after it’s all over, even though it’s not that funny when you’re going through it.”

Members of the Bay Ridge community theater group caught the show when it was produced in Staten Island, where Simonelli now lives, and they imported it to the writer’s old stomping grounds.

And no stage is better for the play than Saint Patrick’s — Simonelli is a proud alum of the school, and got his first taste of the stage during a fourth grade production of “A Charlie Brown Christmas.”

“It’s nice to come and have a homecoming on the stage that started it all,” he said.

“Men Are Dogs,” at Saint Patrick’s Catholic School [401 97th St. between Fourth Avenue and Fort Hamilton Parkway in Bay Ridge. www.narrowscommunitytheater.com, (718) 482–3173]. Feb. 19, 26, and 27 at 8 pm, and Feb. 20, 21, and 28 at 2 pm. $20 ($15 seniors).

Reach reporter Dennis Lynch at (718) 260–2508 or e-mail him at dlynch@cnglocal.com.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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