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Gurney's "Sylvia," perhaps the most widelyloved show in the future off Broadway since "The Sound of Music," isn't actually about dogs, doglovers or dogloverlovers, despite the fact that those three characters are the core in the play. It's about how people respond when faced with the unexpected. New Yorker Greg, from the throes of midlife blahs, adopts a rowdy mutt Sylvia or maybe she adopts him after encountering him at the park. Greg's wife, Kate, struggling to advance her career, just isn't warm to the thought of keeping a large dog within a city apartment but, more critically, senses that Sylvia fills a need in Greg which 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, specially when delivered as dialogue between man and dog.
Teresa Pond's direction keeps the action sparkling, but the production seems less heartfelt and spontaneous than the original Cyrano's staging of 11 in the past. If could be that Pond was without the main benefit of the talent available to Bostin Christopher in 1997.
Memory could be faulty, and the newness from the play doubtlessly brought its own excitement a while ago. But Christopher's key trio of David Hayes, Annie Stokes with an exquisitely energetic Shanwne Albright inside the title role were described in a Daily News review during the time as "one of the very most effective ensembles noticed in Anchorage in a long while" before or ever since i might add. The playwright, who expressed reservations when told he would see his play in the Last Frontier Theatre Conference in Valdez later that year appeared praising this cast as comparable to any he'd observed in several.
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 part. Ed Bourgeois likewise carries negligence Greg correctly, but he isn't the mensch, the everyman, that individuals recall Haynes projecting. Part of the problem could be he plays the type with plenty of your 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 think they are all veterans is shared through the Kate, Julia Cossman, in whom you find little softness, a characteristic Stokes discovered from the script and employed to come out a sympathetic character that infused the complete entertainment with a believability that was, on reflection, astonishing, especially considering that it comes down to a talking dog.
What the current three get that the first trio lacked is a useful one singing voices, crucial in an important first act scene when they sing "Everytime We are saying Goodbye." Only Stokes could hit a do my part 1997; one other voices were notable for silliness a lot more than their musicality.
Your fourth actor, Mark Robokoff, plays three incidental roles with aplomb. His take on Tom, a fellow pet owner, is strikingly distinct from Peter Ruocco's version 11 years ago, more masculine, weightier. In the drag role of Kate's friend, I seem to recall Ruocco as smoother and funnier. But Robokoff's overthetop newage therapist is a fresh surprise.
You will naturally compare the 2 productions on the drawback to the present show. But people that have not yet seen this modern fable and most that have will nonetheless enjoy the storyplot, the jokes, the antics and also the whole thought of human/animal relationships. Just isn't possible to not understand this play and think about a number of dogs you have known; Gurney's aim was dead on while he invented his subject. The 1st night out of stock and, in the dogcrazy town like Anchorage, there is no reason the remainder of the run won't, too. Thurs. Sat. Sun. at Cyrano's Off Center Playhouse, 413 D. St. Tickets are $17.50.
I really enjoyed my night at the theatre after i saw Sylvia last week!
Mr. Dunham, I am looking forward to reading your reviews and frequently view them as accurate and onthemark, even if this means that they were not positive. I do not think reviews ought to always be positive b/c sometimes people missthemark, myself included. When that comes about, being an amateur actor which is any of us have been in the town (unless there's some secret meetings of Actors Equity occurring which i haven't heard of) then just as one actor, you deal with your bruised ego.
With that said Sir, I felt it was unfair to this current cast of Sylvia to compare these to the Sylvia cast of 11 in years past. I'd personally have liked to read a review that took this cast to task for their very own successes as well as their shortcomings. That would are already an affordable review.
However, I possibly could not review this show without bias myself, while i have directed or worked directly with several inside the cast i simply adore Sandy, so I is not going to supply a detailed one here.
I know, from top notch feel the personal and financial costs of placing a show. No one I am aware with this town makes a lot of cash on it, regardless of whether it absolutely was a roaring success. We all do it b/c we like it. We do it b/c we should post you towards the community in your own way. The least, I really believe, most of us can expect will be reviewed fairly.
I would like to remind ADN reviewers (the paid kind that are assigned a show) that they can should take their job of reviewing a show very seriously. It's not only as a result of actor egos, that i would be the first to admit can never be satisfied, but b/c you'll find real-world financial losses for individuals involved. An unfair review, while unfortunate for the actors, could be devastating to the producers (who probably are only trying to break even).
I'm not suggesting there should never be negative reviews. If the show sucks, by a unique merit, then yes it ought to be taken up task in some recoverable format.
But ADN reviewers should enter that darkened room with full understanding of their particular biases as well as their own ego cheap their review has the potential to impact box office sales.
Thank you for this forum to reply!
Wow! in a town paper whose reveiws are usually either effusive or simple synopsis of what was seen this review seems harsh. As someone who has browse the play had but never seen it (not being the main elite art scene of old) I'd a lot of fun last weekend. Time passes to almost something that happens stage within this town and also this play was a standout, I had been thoroughly entertained for that duration. Within the show the actual stars to me were Angela Vice as Sylva and whoever designed the set, it turned out too cool, accomplishing a good deal in a smaller space. I have already recomended the show to a few people.
We never laughed so faithfully! Saturday night, Angela Vice was amazing in their caricature of this lovable, feisty dog, Sylvia. We're able to see our dog in their moves. Ed Bourgeois held our attention, since we could relate. His chemistry with Julia Cossman, as Kate, as well as Cossman's acting, worked for us. And, we presume Mark Robokoff achieved the challenging feat of three distinct characters. Well done all! Done well Teresa Pond! We laughed hysterically, so we were convinced. Thanks for a most fun evening!
It is understandable that we now have going to be reviews of shows, and as comments are opinions, nobody will almost certainly acknowledge every review totally. It can be truley unfortunate that the person shipped to review a perfomance was this avid fan from the first show he arrived with high expectations. ie: Had me standing and clapping the minute the lights showed up.
This must have been a very moving performance to the particular reviewer and yes it will need to have hit home in several ways to still talk to him after 11 years he would remember it so vividly that they had the complete cast memorized as part of his mind. I think in the furture even though it would be great to see someone will end up in to a performance they are reviewing without having relating it to a show that they saw previously. I am still very excited to determine the show. Irrrve never scene the show before and haing no preconsceived notin of what it is about, I am awaiting some good theater from a very talented pool of men and women.
I, too, am disappointed to see a lot time spent on comparison on the production that occurred 11 in the past. I saw Christopher's production in 1997 and loved it. However, I was prepared to proceed and discover what this cast, director, and crew of designers been on store. Things i saw would be 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 the play isn't actually about dogs, or people that love dogs. The pet/human relationship is a unique and heartbreaking one (even as we decide to enter these relationships knowing we have been probably to live our pets.) This is not simply a metaphor, but possible for a lot of.
Passionate Beagle Owner (and fellow artsnob!)
I appreciate raising the situation of whether it is correct to compare the present "Sylvia" with all the first Anchorage production. Admittedly, a real comparison wouldn't continually be relevant. Though the 1997 version remains a high water mark in recent local theatrical history: sold-out, extended, reprised, shown to high praise from your playwright himself. In picking to revisit the script, the producers automatically invite this kind of comparison and, as among the a few who nearly elevated out of my seat as soon as the lights emerged and didn't relax until it had been over, I'm mighty thrilled to do this.
Naturally, mine isn't the only opinion available, so in retrospect we've got 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 helped me laugh aloud within about every scene and Mark gave splendid performances as three different characters. I enjoyed the set and i also even enjoyed the sound, a piece I do not often rate. I could only hope this ridiculous review won't deter people from attending a great (and funny) show. The "Sylvia" that could reach over a decade ago isn't strongly related this production. Honestly, I think the reviewer must be ashamed.
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