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Gurney's "Sylvia," probably the most widelyloved show to come off Broadway since "The Sound of Music," is not actually about dogs, doglovers or dogloverlovers, even though those three characters would be the core in the play. It's really down to how people respond when confronted by the unexpected. New Yorker Greg, within 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, incapable of advance her career, isn't warm to the notion of keeping a huge dog within a city apartment but, more critically, senses that Sylvia fills a requirement in Greg she cannot, thereby tossing her lifetime into crisis.
But 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, though the production seems less heartfelt and spontaneous than the original Cyrano's staging of 11 in years past. If might be that Pond did not have the advantages of the talent offered to Bostin Christopher in 1997.
Memory may be faulty, and also the newness from the play doubtlessly brought its own excitement in older days. But Christopher's key trio of David Hayes, Annie Stokes plus an exquisitely energetic Shanwne Albright inside the title role were described inside a Daily News review at that time as "one of the very most effective ensembles seen in Anchorage inside a long while" before or since I might add. The playwright, who expressed reservations when told although see his play in the Last Frontier Theatre Conference in Valdez later that year appeared praising this cast as add up to any he'd noticed in several.
Angela Vice's Sylvia is physically convincing and attitudinally on the right track, but she doesn't need the dogly faces that Albright sold the role. Ed Bourgeois likewise carries negligence Greg correctly, but he isn't the mensch, the everyman, we recall Haynes projecting. Part of the problem might be he plays the with sufficient of the beard that his recognizable facial expressions are limited to movements of his eyebrows.
The stiffness of the pair maybe because of opening night tensions, though I think they are all veterans is shared with the Kate, Julia Cossman, in whom one finds little softness, a characteristic Stokes discovered in the script and helpful to come out a sympathetic character that infused the complete entertainment having a believability which was, in retrospect, astonishing, especially given that it comes down to a talking dog.
Just what the current three obtain the first trio lacked is nice singing voices, crucial in an important first act scene after they sing "Everytime We Say Goodbye." Only Stokes could hit a pitch in 1997; another voices were notable for his or her silliness over their musicality.
The fourth actor, Mark Robokoff, plays three incidental roles with aplomb. His undertake Tom, another pet owner, is strikingly unique of Peter Ruocco's version 11 years back, more masculine, weightier. From the drag role of Kate's friend, I seem to recall Ruocco as smoother and funnier. But Robokoff's overthetop newage therapist is often a fresh surprise.
It's hard not to compare both productions on the problem with the actual show. But those that have not yet seen this contemporary fable and most who have will nonetheless enjoy the story, the jokes, the antics and the whole notion of human/animal relationships. Just isn't possible to not understand this play and consider a number of dogs you have known; Gurney's aim was accurate whilst developed his subject. The very first night out of stock and, within a 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 seriously enjoyed my night on the theatre after i saw Sylvia last weekend!
Mr. Dunham, I look forward to reading your reviews and often view them as accurate and onthemark, even if which means that they weren't positive. I can't think reviews should always be positive b/c sometimes people missthemark, myself included. When that comes about, as an amateur actor which is any of us have been in the city (unless there's some secret meetings of Actors Equity occurring that we haven't heard of) then as an actor, you cope with your bruised ego.
With that in mind Sir, I felt it had been unfair for this current cast of Sylvia that compares them to the Sylvia cast of 11 in years past. I might have liked to see an evaluation that took this cast to part of their own successes and their shortcomings. That would have been a good review.
However, I really could not review this show without bias myself, as I have directed or worked directly with several within the cast and that i simply adore Sandy, so I won't supply a detailed one here.
I realize, from top notch go through the personal and financial costs of adding a show. No-one I understand on this town has created a ton of cash on it, even if it was a roaring success. Perform it b/c we like to it. We do it b/c we want to send to the community within our own way. Minimal, I believe, many of us can get is to be reviewed fairly.
I might like to remind ADN reviewers (the paid kind that are assigned a show) they must take their job of reviewing a show seriously. It isn't just due to actor egos, i may be the first to admit can never actually be satisfied, but b/c you will find down to earth financial losses for individuals involved. An unfair review, while unfortunate for the actors, might be devastating for that producers (who almost certainly are only trying to break even).
I am not suggesting there won't be negative reviews. If a show sucks, by its merit, then yes it must be come to task in writing.
But ADN reviewers should enter that darkened room with full expertise in their particular biases and their own ego it comes with their review has the potential to impact box office sales.
Thanks for this forum to reply!
Wow! inside a town paper whose reveiws are generally either effusive or simple synopsis of the was seen this review seems harsh. As somebody who has browse the play had but never seen it (not section of the elite art scene of old) I needed fun last week. I go to nearly whatever happens stage within this town and this play was a standout, I had been thoroughly entertained for your duration. Within the show the actual stars for me personally were Angela Vice as Sylva and whoever designed the set, it turned out too cool, accomplishing a great deal in a smaller space. I've already recomended the show a number of people.
We never laughed so difficult! Saturday night, Angela Vice was amazing in her caricature of this lovable, feisty dog, Sylvia. We might see our dog in their own moves. Ed Bourgeois held our attention, since we're able to relate. His chemistry with Julia Cossman, as Kate, along with Cossman's acting, helped us. And, the world thinks Mark Robokoff realized the challenging feat of three distinct characters. Congratulations all! Done well Teresa Pond! We laughed hysterically, so we were convinced. Thank you for a most enjoyable evening!
It really is understandable that there are likely to be reviews of shows, so that as comments are opinions, nobody will almost certainly agree on every review completely. It really is truley unfortunate that the person shipped to review a perfomance was this type of avid fan in the first show he started in rich in expectations. ie: Had me standing and clapping as soon as the lights showed up.
This must have been a very moving performance to the particular reviewer and it have to have hit home in lots of ways to still talk with him after 11 years he would remember it so vividly he had your entire cast memorized in the mind. I do think from the furture even though it can be great to find out someone use into a performance actually reviewing with out relating it to a show that they saw in the past. We are still very excited to view the show. Irrrve never scene the show before and haing no preconsceived notin of what it's about, I will be getting excited about some very nice theater from the very talented pool of folks.
I, too, am disappointed to find out so much time invested in comparison for the production that happened 11 in years past. I saw Christopher's production in 1997 and loved it. However, I became able to proceed and find out what this cast, director, and crew of designers had in store. What I saw would have been a fantastic production completely worthy of the standing ovation it received on Saturday night.
And i also find it a little bit condescending to suggest that the play isn't actually about dogs, or people that love dogs. The pet/human relationship can be a unique and heartbreaking one (even as we choose to enter these relationships knowing were more than likely to thrive our pets.) It's not just a metaphor, but a real possibility for a lot of.
Passionate Beagle Owner (and fellow artsnob!)
I appreciate raising the situation of be it correct that compares the current "Sylvia" using the first Anchorage production. Admittedly, such a comparison wouldn't always be relevant. Nevertheless the 1997 version remains a high water mark in recent local theatrical history: out of stock, extended, reprised, presented to high praise through the playwright himself. In choosing to revisit the script, the producers automatically invite this kind of comparison and, as among the many who nearly elevated out of my seat right after the lights came up and didn't settle down until it had been over, I'm mighty very happy to achieve this.
Naturally, mine isn't only opinion out there, and that's 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 helped me laugh loudly in mere about every scene and Mark gave splendid performances as three different characters. I enjoyed the set i even enjoyed the sound, a piece I would not often prize. I can hope this ridiculous review will not likely deter people from attending an incredible (and funny) show. The "Sylvia" that has reached over a decade ago isn't tightly related to this production. Honestly, I do believe the reviewer must be ashamed.