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Gurney's "Sylvia," probably the most widelyloved show into the future off Broadway since "The Sound of Music," isn't actually about dogs, doglovers or dogloverlovers, though those three characters would be the core with the play. It comes down to 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 with the park. Greg's wife, Kate, can not advance her career, isn't warm on the concept of keeping a large dog inside a city apartment but, more critically, senses that Sylvia fills a necessity in Greg she cannot, thereby tossing her life 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, particularly if delivered as dialogue between man and dog.

Teresa Pond's direction keeps the experience sparkling, nevertheless the production seems less heartfelt and spontaneous compared to original Cyrano's staging of 11 in years past. If could be that Pond didn't have the benefit of the talent open to Bostin Christopher in 1997.

Memory could be faulty, and also the newness from the play doubtlessly brought its excitement in older times. But Christopher's key trio of David Hayes, Annie Stokes and an exquisitely energetic Shanwne Albright within the title role were described inside a Daily News review during the time as "one of the very effective ensembles seen in Anchorage within 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 wound up praising this cast as equal to any he'd seen in the parts.

Angela Vice's Sylvia is physically convincing and attitudinally on course, but she doesn't need the dogly faces with which Albright sold the function. Ed Bourgeois likewise carries negligence Greg correctly, but he is not the mensch, the everyman, that individuals recall Haynes projecting. The main problem might be which he plays the with sufficient of the beard that his recognizable facial expressions are restricted to movements of his eyebrows.

The stiffness of this pair maybe because of opening night tensions, though I do believe they are all veterans is shared by the Kate, Julia Cossman, in whom one finds little softness, an attribute Stokes discovered from the script and employed to end up a sympathetic character that infused the whole entertainment which has a believability that has been, on reflection, astonishing, especially since it's about a talking dog.

What the current three have that the initial trio lacked is good singing voices, crucial in an integral first act scene after they sing "Everytime We Say Goodbye." Only Stokes could hit a help out 1997; the other voices were notable for silliness greater than their musicality.

The fourth actor, Mark Robokoff, plays three incidental roles with aplomb. His take on Tom, another dog owner, is strikingly distinct from Peter Ruocco's version 11 in the past, more masculine, weightier. In the drag role of Kate's friend, I manage to recall Ruocco as smoother and funnier. But Robokoff's overthetop newage therapist is really a fresh surprise.

It's hard not to compare the two productions towards the disadvantage of the current show. But people who have not yet seen this modern fable and most who've will nonetheless revel in the tale, the jokes, the antics and the whole notion of human/animal relationships. Fat loss not to check out this play and consider more than one dogs you've got known; Gurney's aim was accurate whilst created his subject. The first night sold-out and, within a dogcrazy town like Anchorage, there is no reasons why all of those other 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 on the theatre after i saw Sylvia last week!

Mr. Dunham, I look forward to reading your reviews and frequently view them as accurate and onthemark, even though because of this they were not positive. I don't think reviews should invariably be positive b/c sometimes people missthemark, myself included. When occurring, being an amateur actor which is all anyone come in this town (unless there's some secret meetings of Actors Equity occurring that we haven't heard of) then being an actor, you handle your bruised ego.

That being said Sir, I felt it turned out unfair to this particular current cast of Sylvia to check these phones the Sylvia cast of 11 in the past. I'd have liked to learn an evaluation that took this cast to part of their unique successes as well as their shortcomings. That might have already been a reasonable review.

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

I am aware, from first hand experience the personal and financial costs of setting up a show. No one I understand within this town makes a huge amount of money on it, regardless of whether it had been a roaring success. We all do it b/c we love it. Carry out it b/c we would like to post you for the community inside our own way. The very least, I really believe, most of us can get will be reviewed fairly.

I'd also like to remind ADN reviewers (the paid kind which can be assigned a show) they should take their job of reviewing a show very seriously. It is not just because of actor egos, which I will be the first to confess can never be satisfied, but b/c you will find real life financial losses for people involved. An unfair review, while unfortunate for that actors, could be devastating for the producers (who most likely are only attempting to break even).

I am not suggesting that there will not be negative reviews. If a show sucks, by its very own merit, then yes it must be delivered to task in writing.

But ADN reviewers should enter that darkened room with full knowledge of their own biases along with their own ego has their review has the potential to impact box office sales.

Thanks for this forum to reply!

Wow! inside a town paper whose reveiws are often either effusive or simple synopsis products was seen this review seems harsh. As somebody who has look at play had but never seen it (not being the main elite art scene of old) I had created a lot of fun last week. I go to just about anything that occurs stage with this town this also play would be a standout, I was thoroughly entertained to the duration. Within the show the true stars for me personally were Angela Vice as Sylva and whoever designed the set, it had been too cool, accomplishing a good deal in a small space. We have already recomended the show to many people.

We never laughed so desperately! Saturday night, Angela Vice was amazing in their own caricature of that lovable, feisty dog, Sylvia. We will see our dog in her own moves. Ed Bourgeois held our attention, since we could relate. His chemistry with Julia Cossman, as Kate, along with Cossman's acting, helped us. And, we presume Mark Robokoff pulled off the cruel feat of three distinct characters. Done well all! Congratulations Teresa Pond! We laughed hysterically, and that we were convinced. We appreciate you a most enjoyable evening!

It can be understandable that we now have likely to be reviews of shows, and as surveys are opinions, nobody is going to agree with every review completely. It is truley unfortunate that this person shipped to review a perfomance was this type of avid fan with the first reveal that he were only available in rich in expectations. ie: Had me standing and clapping the moment the lights showed up.

This would have been a very moving performance to this particular particular reviewer also it will need to have hit home in several ways to still speak to him after 11 years that they would remember it so vividly that he had the entire cast memorized in his mind. I believe from the furture although it will be great to find out someone go in to a performance that they are reviewing without having relating it to some show they saw before. I will be still very excited to find out the show. I have not scene the show before and haing no preconsceived notin of the it is about, We are getting excited about some good theater from a very talented pool of men and women.

I, too, am disappointed to view a great deal time spent on comparison towards the production that came about 11 years ago. I saw Christopher's production in 1997 and loved it. However, I was able to move on and find out what this cast, director, and crew of designers been in store. What I saw would have been a fantastic production completely worth the standing ovation it received on Saturday night.

And that i think it is a tiny bit condescending to point out how the play is not actually about dogs, or people who love dogs. The pet/human relationship can be a unique and heartbreaking one (as we elect to enter these relationships knowing we're most likely to thrive our pets.) This is not just a metaphor, but an actuality for several.

Passionate Beagle Owner (and fellow artsnob!)

I appreciate raising the issue of whether or not it's correct that compares the existing "Sylvia" together with the first Anchorage production. Admittedly, such a comparison wouldn't always be relevant. Nevertheless the 1997 version remains an increased water mark in recent local theatrical history: soldout, extended, reprised, presented to high praise in the playwright himself. In picking to revisit the script, the producers automatically invite this type of comparison and, among the many people who nearly elevated away from my seat as soon as the lights came up and didn't relax until it had been over, I'm mighty pleased to achieve this.

Obviously, mine isn't the only opinion around, which is the reason 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 made me laugh aloud in only 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 would not often rate. I'm able to hope this ridiculous review won't deter people from attending an excellent (and funny) show. The "Sylvia" well over a decade ago isn't tightly related to this production. Honestly, I think the reviewer ought to be ashamed.