“A Dog’s Life” performances

If you have ever been blessed with a dog in your family, then “A Dog’s Life” is your kind of musical.

“A Dog’s Life,” with book and lyrics by Sean Grennan and music by Leah Okimoto, will be presented  June 30 and July 1 in the amphitheater at King Central Park, 302 Kirby Road in King, N.C.

A musical comedy/drama, the play is produced and sponsored by the Stokes County Arts Council and Friends of Stokes Shelter.

The production tells the story of Jack (Kristin Sands), a shelter mutt in search of a forever home, who is adopted by Joel (Grant Perry), a driven businessman who wants Jack only as a gift for his estranged girlfriend.  Joel hopes to use the dog to reconcile with her, but he soon discovers that she is not interested in Jack—or Joel, for that matter.  Suddenly, the young millennial has become a reluctant pet parent.

Determined to keep his new home, the faithful Jack teaches his new dad about loyalty, compassion, the power of play, and the benefits of simply “wasting time.” In the end, Jack wins Joel’s heart and the two of them become a family.

An amusing subplot in “A Dog’s Life” revolves around two other shelter dogs—a grouchy hound named Big Dog (Jenny Smith) and an excitable terrier called simply “Little Dog” (Meredith Dowdy).

Big Dog dislikes the hyper Little Dog immediately, but he soon realizes the only way to escape the shelter is to become a matched set. The canine odd couple joins forces, and is rewarded with a home of their own.

Other cast members include Olina Johnson as Annie, the “Hi-Star” GPS representative who becomes Joel’s conscience. Olina also introduces each scene with a “Dog Wisdom” quote and provides several offstage voices.

Newcomer Cole Martin Wagner also is among the cast. He portrays a “Jekyll and Hyde” type veterinarian, also plays an attendant at the shelter and provides offstage voices.

“A Dog’s Life” is directed by Brack Llewellyn and assisted by Meredith Dowdy as the musical director and Shane Sargent as the sound engineer.

Pre-show entertainment will be presented each night beginning at 6:30 p.m. by Team ZOOM Canine Entertainment, providing Frisbee, agility, and herding demonstrations.

The play itself begins at 7:30 p.m.

Admission is $10 for adults, $5 students. Children 5 and under are free.

This community theatre production is sponsored by Northview Animal Hospital of King, Animal Hospital of Walnut Cove, and Boyce-Holland Veterinary Service of Stuart.

For tickets or information, contact the Stokes County Arts Council at 336 593-8159.

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