Buddy Daddy: A boy and his dog

ColdTowne's Arthur Simone and his dog, Robin Goodfellow, perform onstage as an improv duo – seriously

Buddy Daddy: A boy and his dog

Ladies and gentlemen, ColdTowne's Arthur Simone and his dog, Robin Goodfellow, onstage as an improv duo. Seriously.

Simone, a lanky, handsome man resembling some garret-dwelling Parisian with a bad absinthe habit, and Robin, a beagle/dachshund mix as laid-back as Fred Basset on laudanum, together, working the extemporaneous theatre style into a set of compelling character studies. These are monologues, really, and as close as Simone gets to solo performance, because Robin is, after all, no wonder dog with a Second City pedigree.

"Improv is intimidating, even when you have a troupe backing you up," says Simone. "Doing a show with an intermittently responsive puppy dog whose only motivation is the hope of a treat is downright terrifying." You won't notice any terror on Simone's expressive mug during the show, though; you'll see only a talented man embodying a variety of characters, one after another, spieling out each story while a sweet but aloof pooch participates (often accidentally) in the narrative.

"I got Robin from the SPCA about a month after Hurricane Katrina," says Simone. "I sought out a supermellow critter, and I sure got it. If he weren't so pliant, I doubt I could ever do a show with him. We started performing about a year ago, on a dare from Chris Trew, and we've performed half a dozen times since then."

The night we saw Buddy Daddy as part of the Friday Threefer at the Hideout, the audience suggestion was "bizarre," which Simone used to spark the scene of a fortuneteller at a bazaar, the magic man attempting to unfold mysteries of the future for a client played by Robin. From there, the duo moved on to other scenes, including a sorority girl concerned over the dating habits of her roommate and a ballroom lothario relentlessly if vainly wooing his latest dance partner. For that last scene, Simone hoisted the hapless canine into his arms and did a slow tango back and forth across the stage while speaking unheeded words of seduction. Any of these gambits would be merely cute and quickly tiresome, except that Simone is no slouch at conjuring characters from thin air and bringing their personalities to vivid, often humorous life. The dog -- wandering around the stage, stopping to munch from his bowl of kibble, occasionally paying attention to his master's voice -- is, as they say in the Nyawlins parishes from which this two-specied duo hails, lagniappe.


Buddy Daddy performs in the Improv Cage Match Thursday, July 26, 10pm, at ColdTowne Theater, 4803 Airport. For information, visit www.coldtownetheater.com.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Austin improv
<i>Immigrants, The Musical! (Part Two)</i>
Immigrants, the Musical! (Part Two)
With this improvised musical series, one family's tale of coming to the states becomes a tale about us all

Robert Faires, Nov. 23, 2018

Austin Improv Celebrates the Day of the Dead With <i>La Vida de los Muertos</i>
Austin Improv Celebrates the Day of the Dead With La Vida de los Muertos
How Austin improv is celebrating the Day of the Dead via La Vida de los Muertos

Trey Gutierrez, Oct. 12, 2018

More by Wayne Alan Brenner
Restaurant Options to Pair With Smithville’s Small-Town Charm
Restaurant Options to Pair With Smithville’s Small-Town Charm
Things to do when you’re out east of the big city

May 17, 2019

Those Who Canelle Don’t Get Bitten
Those Who Canelle Don’t Get Bitten
New cinnamon-based spray keeps the mosquitos away

May 15, 2019

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Buddy Daddy, Austin improv, ColdTowne, Arthur Simone

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle