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Gurney's "Sylvia," probably the most widelyloved show ahead off Broadway since "The Sound of Music," isn't really about dogs, doglovers or dogloverlovers, even though those three characters include the core from the play. It is more about how people respond when confronted by the unexpected. New Yorker Greg, from the throes of midlife blahs, adopts a rowdy mutt Sylvia or maybe she adopts him after encountering him in the park. Greg's wife, Kate, incapable of advance her career, just isn't warm to the idea of keeping a big dog within a city apartment but, more critically, senses that Sylvia fills a requirement in Greg she cannot, thereby tossing her life into crisis.

Nevertheless the drama is presented as comedy, and also the audience laughed readily and repeatedly Friday night at Cyrano's. Gurney's lines remain uproarious, especially when delivered as dialogue between man and dog.

Teresa Pond's direction keeps the experience sparkling, though the production seems less heartfelt and spontaneous as opposed to original Cyrano's staging of 11 years ago. If may be that Pond didn't have the advantage of the talent available to Bostin Christopher in 1997.

Memory can be faulty, and also the newness from the play doubtlessly brought a unique excitement in older days. But Christopher's key trio of David Hayes, Annie Stokes with an exquisitely energetic Shanwne Albright in the title role were described in a Daily News review during the time as "one of the extremely effective ensembles affecting Anchorage in a long while" before or since I might add. The playwright, who expressed reservations when told he would see his play on the Last Frontier Theatre Conference in Valdez later that year ended up praising this cast as corresponding to any he'd noticed in the various components.

Angela Vice's Sylvia is physically convincing and attitudinally on the right track, but she doesn't have the dogly faces which Albright sold the part. Ed Bourgeois likewise carries fault Greg correctly, but he isn't the mensch, the everyman, that we recall Haynes projecting. The main problem may be he plays the smoothness with enough of the beard that his recognizable facial expressions are limited to movements of his eyebrows.

The stiffness of the pair maybe on account of opening night tensions, though I do think they're all veterans is shared from the Kate, Julia Cossman, in whom one finds little softness, a characteristic Stokes discovered from the script and helpful to end up a sympathetic character that infused the full entertainment having a believability that's, in retrospect, astonishing, especially due to the fact it comes down to a talking dog.

What are the current three have that the main trio lacked is nice singing voices, essential in a key first act scene whenever they sing "Everytime We Say Goodbye." Only Stokes could hit a help out 1997; another voices were notable because of their silliness over their musicality.

The final actor, Mark Robokoff, plays three incidental roles with aplomb. His take on Tom, a fellow pet owner, is strikingly diverse from Peter Ruocco's version 11 years ago, more masculine, weightier. In the drag role of Kate's friend, I apparently recall Ruocco as smoother and funnier. But Robokoff's overthetop newage therapist is often a fresh surprise.

You will naturally compare both the productions for the downside of the existing show. But people that have not yet seen this contemporary fable and most who may have will nonetheless enjoy the storyplot, the jokes, the antics and the whole thought of human/animal relationships. Fat loss not to see this play and consider more than one dogs one has known; Gurney's aim was dead on when he developed his subject. The first night soldout and, within a dogcrazy town like Anchorage, there isn't any reasons why other run won't, too. Thurs. Sat. Sun. at Cyrano's Off Center Playhouse, 413 D. St. Tickets are $17.50.

I must say i enjoyed my night in the theatre once i saw Sylvia last week!

Mr. Dunham, I look forward to reading your reviews and frequently view them as accurate and onthemark, even when which means that they weren't positive. I don't think reviews should be positive b/c sometimes people missthemark, myself included. When that develops, as a possible amateur actor which is all any of us come in this town (unless there's some secret meetings of Actors Equity taking place that I don't know about) then as a possible actor, you handle your bruised ego.

Having said that Sir, I felt it absolutely was unfair for this current cast of Sylvia to match the crooks to the Sylvia cast of 11 years ago. I might have liked to learn an overview that took this cast to job for their very own successes in addition to their shortcomings. That could happen to be an affordable review.

However, I can not review this show without bias myself, because i have directed or worked directly with several within the cast i simply adore Sandy, so I won't offer a detailed one here.

I know, from top notch feel the personal and financial costs of adding a show. Nobody I understand on this town has produced a lot of cash on it, even when it absolutely was a roaring success. We do it b/c we love it. Carry out it b/c you want to post you on the community within our own way. The smallest amount of, I really believe, many of us can expect will be reviewed fairly.

I'd personally like to remind ADN reviewers (the paid kind that are assigned a show) that they should take their job of reviewing a show seriously. It's not just due to actor egos, that i may be the first to admit can't ever sometimes be satisfied, but b/c you'll find real-world financial losses for people involved. An unfair review, while unfortunate for that actors, can be devastating for that producers (who most likely are merely looking to break even).

I am not suggesting there won't be negative reviews. If the show sucks, by its merit, then yes it should be taken to task in writing.

But ADN reviewers should enter that darkened room with full understanding of their very own biases as well as their own ego has their review can impact box office sales.

Thanks for this forum to respond!

Wow! in a town paper whose reveiws are generally either effusive or simple synopsis of the was seen this review seems harsh. As someone who has read the play had but never seen it (not the main elite art scene of old) I needed fun a week ago. I go to almost any situation that turns on stage with this town and this play would be a standout, I had been thoroughly entertained for the duration. Inside show the real stars personally were Angela Vice as Sylva and whoever designed the set, it absolutely was too cool, accomplishing a whole lot in a smaller space. I've already recomended the show to several people.

We never laughed so faithfully! Saturday night, Angela Vice was amazing in their caricature of these lovable, feisty dog, Sylvia. We're able to see our dog in her own moves. Ed Bourgeois held our attention, since we might relate. His chemistry with Julia Cossman, as Kate, along with Cossman's acting, worked for us. And, we feel Mark Robokoff pulled off the cruel feat of three distinct characters. Done well all! Good job Teresa Pond! We laughed hysterically, and that we were convinced. Thanks for a most enjoyable evening!

It is understandable that there are gonna be reviews of shows, so that as surveys are opinions, nobody will agree with every review completely. It's truley unfortunate that the person provided for review a perfomance was this kind of avid fan in the first demonstrate that he started in with higher expectations. ie: Had me standing and clapping the minute the lights emerged.

This would have been a very moving performance to the particular reviewer and it should have hit home often to still talk to him after 11 years he would remember it so vividly that he had your entire cast memorized in the mind. I do believe within the furture even though it will be great to see someone will end up in into a performance that they are reviewing with out relating it with a show they saw before. We are still very excited to determine the show. I have not scene the show before and haing no preconsceived notin products to expect, I am awaiting some good theater from the very talented pool of folks.

I, too, am disappointed to find out a lot time used on comparison to the production that took place 11 in years past. I saw Christopher's production in 1997 and loved it. However, I was prepared to move ahead and find out what this cast, director, and crew of designers been in store. Things i saw was obviously a fantastic production completely worthy of the standing ovation it received on Saturday night.

I think it is a little bit condescending to suggest that this play is not actually about dogs, or individuals who love dogs. The pet/human relationship is really a unique and heartbreaking one (even as we decide to enter these relationships knowing we are most likely to thrive our pets.) This is simply not only a metaphor, but an actuality for a lot of.

Passionate Beagle Owner (and fellow artsnob!)

I appreciate raising the matter of whether or not it's correct to match the current "Sylvia" using the first Anchorage production. Admittedly, such a comparison wouldn't often be relevant. However the 1997 version remains a higher water mark in recent local theatrical history: sold-out, extended, reprised, shown to high praise through the playwright himself. In choosing to revisit the script, the producers automatically invite a real comparison and, among the many people who nearly elevated beyond my seat once the lights came out and didn't relax until it had been over, I'm mighty happy to accomplish that.

Naturally, mine is not the only opinion around, which explains why we've this comment section. Fire away!

I attended opening nights "Sylvia" and couldn't disagree with Mike Dunham more. I thoroughly enjoyed the show and was very touched my Ed's performance. Angela forced me to be laugh out loud in just about every scene and Mark gave splendid performances as three different characters. I enjoyed the set and that i even enjoyed the sound, a piece I would not often rate. I could only hope this ridiculous review is not going to deter people from attending an incredible (and funny) show. The "Sylvia" of over not many years ago isn't relevant to this production. Honestly, I do believe the reviewer should be ashamed.