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Gurney's "Sylvia," probably the most widelyloved show to come off Broadway since "The Sound of Music," is not really about dogs, doglovers or dogloverlovers, although those three characters are the core in the play. It comes down to how people respond when confronted with the unexpected. New Yorker Greg, inside the throes of midlife blahs, adopts a rowdy mutt Sylvia or maybe she adopts him after encountering him with the park. Greg's wife, Kate, can not advance her career, is not warm on the thought of keeping a big dog in the city apartment but, more critically, senses that Sylvia fills a requirement in Greg she cannot, thereby tossing her lifetime into crisis.

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

Teresa Pond's direction keeps the action sparkling, however the production seems less heartfelt and spontaneous compared to the original Cyrano's staging of 11 years back. If may be that Pond didn't have the advantages of the talent open to Bostin Christopher in 1997.

Memory can be faulty, and the newness in the play doubtlessly brought its excitement in older times. But Christopher's key trio of David Hayes, Annie Stokes plus an exquisitely energetic Shanwne Albright within the title role were described inside a Daily News review at that time as "one of the most effective ensembles noticed in Anchorage inside a long while" before or since i have might add. The playwright, who expressed reservations when told he would see his play at the Last Frontier Theatre Conference in Valdez later that year appeared praising this cast as comparable to any he'd affecting the parts.

Angela Vice's Sylvia is physically convincing and attitudinally on the right track, but she doesn't always have the dogly faces that Albright sold the function. Ed Bourgeois likewise carries negligence Greg correctly, but he's not the mensch, the everyman, that people recall Haynes projecting. Part of the problem may be he plays the type with sufficient of an beard that his recognizable facial expressions are restricted to movements of his eyebrows.

The stiffness on this pair maybe on account of opening night tensions, though I do think they're all veterans is shared through the Kate, Julia Cossman, in whom one finds little softness, an attribute Stokes discovered within the script and helpful to prove a sympathetic character that infused the complete entertainment with a believability that was, on reflection, astonishing, especially due to the fact it's about a talking dog.

What are the current three get that the initial trio lacked is nice singing voices, essential in a vital first act scene when they sing "Everytime We are saying Goodbye." Only Stokes could hit a do my part 1997; the opposite voices were notable for silliness greater than their musicality.

The fourth actor, Mark Robokoff, plays three incidental roles with aplomb. His handle Tom, a fellow dog owner, is strikingly unique of Peter Ruocco's version 11 years back, more masculine, weightier. From the drag role of Kate's friend, I apparently recall Ruocco as smoother and funnier. But Robokoff's overthetop newage therapist is a fresh surprise.

It's hard not to compare the 2 productions to the disadvantage of the existing show. But people who haven't yet seen this contemporary fable and most that have will nonetheless enjoy the tale, the jokes, the antics along with the whole notion of human/animal relationships. It's impossible to never check this out play and consider several dogs you have known; Gurney's aim was dead on while he invented his subject. The first night sold-out and, within a dogcrazy town like Anchorage, there is not any reason other run won't, too. Thurs. Sat. Sun. at Cyrano's Off Center Playhouse, 413 D. St. Tickets are $17.50.

I truly enjoyed my night on the theatre once i saw Sylvia last week!

Mr. Dunham, I am looking forward to reading your reviews and often view them as accurate and onthemark, even if this means that they weren't positive. I would not think reviews ought to always be positive b/c sometimes people missthemark, myself included. When that comes about, as an amateur actor which is perhaps all anyone have been in the city (unless there's some secret meetings of Actors Equity taking place i haven't heard of) then as a possible actor, you handle your bruised ego.

With that said Sir, I felt it turned out unfair to the current cast of Sylvia to compare the crooks to the Sylvia cast of 11 in the past. I'd have liked you just read an evaluation that took this cast to task for their unique successes in addition to their shortcomings. That would happen to be a reasonable review.

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

I understand, from upfront experience the personal and financial costs of setting up a show. No-one I am aware within this town has made a huge amount of funds on it, even if it absolutely was a roaring success. We all do it b/c we like to it. Carry out it b/c we should send towards the community in our own way. Minimal, I really believe, we all should be expecting will be reviewed fairly.

I'd personally like to remind ADN reviewers (the paid kind which can be assigned a show) they should take their job of reviewing a show seriously. It's not only due to actor egos, that i may be the first to confess can never really be satisfied, but b/c you can find real-world financial losses for people involved. An unfair review, while unfortunate for that actors, could be devastating for that producers (who more than likely are only looking to break even).

That's not me suggesting there won't be negative reviews. If your show sucks, by its very own merit, then yes it ought to be taken up task in writing.

But ADN reviewers should enter that darkened room with full familiarity with their very own biases as well as their own ego and the fact that their review can impact box office sales.

Many thanks for this forum to respond!

Wow! in a town paper whose reveiws are usually either effusive or simple synopsis products was seen this review seems harsh. As somebody who has see the play had but not witnessed it (not section of the elite art scene of old) I had created a blast a week ago. I am going to just about something that comes on stage with this town and this play was obviously a standout, I had been thoroughly entertained for the duration. Inside the show the true stars personally were Angela Vice as Sylva and whoever designed the set, it had been too cool, accomplishing a great deal in a small space. We have already recomended the show to a few people.

We never laughed so desperately! Saturday night, Angela Vice was amazing in their caricature of the lovable, feisty dog, Sylvia. We will see our dog in their moves. Ed Bourgeois held our attention, since we might relate. His chemistry with Julia Cossman, as Kate, and also Cossman's acting, worked for us. And, we feel Mark Robokoff realized the cruel feat of three distinct characters. Good job all! Well done Teresa Pond! We laughed hysterically, and we were convinced. Thank you for a most fun evening!

It can be understandable that there are going to be reviews of shows, in addition to being reviews are opinions, nobody will probably concur with every review completely. It's truley unfortunate that the person delivered to review a perfomance was this kind of avid fan from the first show that he arrived with higher expectations. ie: Had me standing and clapping as soon as the lights showed up.

This would have been a very moving performance to this particular particular reviewer plus it have to have hit home often to still speak to him after 11 years which he would remember it so vividly that he had the whole cast memorized in their mind. I think from the furture community . can be great to view someone use to some performance actually reviewing with out relating it to a show they saw previously. I'm still very excited to see the show. I never scene the show before and haing no preconsceived notin products it's about, I am awaiting some great theater from the very talented pool of men and women.

I, too, am disappointed to find out a lot time used on comparison to the production that took place 11 years ago. I saw Christopher's production in 1997 and loved it. However, I had been able to move ahead and discover what this cast, director, and crew of designers been on store. What I saw would be a fantastic production completely deserving of the standing ovation it received on Saturday night.

I believe it is a tad condescending to point out that the play isn't really about dogs, or individuals who love dogs. The pet/human relationship is really a unique and heartbreaking one (even as we opt to enter these relationships knowing we're probably to thrive our pets.) This isn't only a metaphor, but a reality for a lot of.

Passionate Beagle Owner (and fellow artsnob!)

I appreciate raising the situation of whether it's correct to match the current "Sylvia" using the first Anchorage production. Admittedly, a real comparison wouldn't continually be relevant. Though the 1997 version remains an increased water mark in recent local theatrical history: out of stock, extended, reprised, shown to high praise through the playwright himself. In choosing to revisit the script, the producers automatically invite this kind of comparison and, among the many who nearly elevated away from my seat as soon as the lights came up and didn't calm down until it had been over, I'm mighty very happy to do this.

Of course, mine isn't the only opinion available, and that's why we have this comment section. Fire away!

I attended opening evening of "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 loudly 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 bit I do not often take notice of. I will hope this ridiculous review will not deter people from attending an excellent (and funny) show. The "Sylvia" that could reach over a decade ago isn't highly relevant to this production. Honestly, I do believe the reviewer ought to be ashamed.