The Sundogs written by Robert Gelberg (student ensemble)
Planet Connections Festivity @The Clemente, 107 Suffolk Street, NYC
Reviewed by Jade Fernandez
This play, by Robert Gelberg, tells the story of Jackie, the weird girl at school. When Jackie is asked by Jay to be interviewed on the AV club’s podcast she tells Jay along with the whole school that she is an alien, which wasn’t true of course. However, it might as well have been true since all the kids in school really started to believe it. She announces that her family is coming and that “they will all see.” Little did they all know, Jackie was planning the most amazing senior prank their high school had ever seen.
The show stars Izzy Szyfer, making her New York premiere as Jackie. Emily Sasfai comes to the Clemente theater from New Jersey to play Jay. Ellie Kallay is a two-time Papermill Playhouse Rising Star nominee who has joined the cast of The Sundogs to play the most popular girl in school, Sam. Finally, Jonah Barbin who previously played the role of Romeo in Romeo and Juliet is now playing PJ, Jay’s kind of sort of friend. Together they all display a little part of what it’s like to be a student in high school.
Excellent direction by Robert Gelberg, stage/ house manager Elias Lepore, rehearsal stage manager Ryan Mandachescu, and designer Caitlin Sing all add up to a wonderful team. The costumes suited each character and their personality. The sound added to the mood well.
I really connected with a few of the characters and I have a feeling a lot of high school students will as well. In the end I was proud of Jackie for being her complete self no matter what, but more important for giving all those who made fun of her what they deserved.