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Gurney's "Sylvia," maybe the most widelyloved show to come off Broadway since "The Sound of Music," is not really about dogs, doglovers or dogloverlovers, though those three characters will be the core of the play. It's about how people respond when confronted with the unexpected. New Yorker Greg, in 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, isn't warm for the concept of keeping a big dog in a city apartment but, more critically, senses that Sylvia fills a necessity in Greg that 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, particularly if 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 original Cyrano's staging of 11 years back. If may be that Pond was lacking the advantages of the talent offered to Bostin Christopher in 1997.
Memory might 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 and an exquisitely energetic Shanwne Albright in the title role were described inside a Daily News review back then as "one of the very effective ensembles seen in Anchorage in a long while" before or since i have might add. The playwright, who expressed reservations when told he'd see his play at the Last Frontier Theatre Conference in Valdez later that year wound up praising this cast as equal to any he'd observed in several.
Angela Vice's Sylvia is physically convincing and attitudinally on course, but she doesn't always have the dogly faces which Albright sold the function. Ed Bourgeois likewise carries negligence Greg correctly, but he isn't the mensch, the everyman, that we recall Haynes projecting. Area of the problem could possibly be that they plays the type with plenty of a 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 do think they're all veterans is shared with the Kate, Julia Cossman, in whom you find little softness, an attribute Stokes discovered within the script and useful to come out a sympathetic character that infused the complete entertainment with a believability that's, looking back, astonishing, especially due to the fact it comes down to a talking dog.
Exactly what the current three have that the main trio lacked is great singing voices, essential in an important first act scene when they sing "Everytime We're saying Goodbye." Only Stokes could hit a help out 1997; the other voices were notable because of their silliness greater than their musicality.
Your 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 in years past, 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 can be a fresh surprise.
You will naturally compare the two productions to the disadvantage of the existing show. But people that have not yet seen this contemporary fable and most who have will nonetheless enjoy the storyplot, the jokes, the antics and also the whole notion of human/animal relationships. No one is able never to understand this play and imagine one or more dogs one has known; Gurney's aim was dead on while he came up with his subject. The very first night soldout and, inside a dogcrazy town like Anchorage, there isn't any reason the rest 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 at the theatre when I saw Sylvia last week!
Mr. Dunham, I look forward to reading your reviews and frequently view them as accurate and onthemark, even if that means that they weren't positive. I do not think reviews ought to always be positive b/c sometimes people missthemark, myself included. When that comes about, just as one amateur actor which 's all any of us are in the town (unless there's some secret meetings of Actors Equity happening that we haven't heard of) then as a possible actor, you take care of your bruised ego.
With that in mind Sir, I felt it turned out unfair to this particular current cast of Sylvia to match them to the Sylvia cast of 11 years back. I'd have liked to learn an assessment that took this cast to work for their particular successes as well as their shortcomings. That might have already been a fair review.
However, I possibly could not review this show without bias myself, because i have directed or worked directly with several within the cast and i also simply adore Sandy, therefore i won't give you a detailed one here.
I realize, from personally have the personal and financial costs of setting up a show. No-one I understand in this town makes a huge amount of funds on it, regardless of whether it was a roaring success. We do it b/c we like it. Perform it b/c you want to post you for the community in our own way. Minimal, I really believe, all of us should expect is usually to be reviewed fairly.
I would also love to remind ADN reviewers (the paid kind which can be assigned a show) that they must take their job of reviewing a show seriously. It's not just due to actor egos, i could be the first to confess can not be satisfied, but b/c you'll find down to earth financial losses for folks involved. An unfair review, while unfortunate for your actors, might be devastating to the producers (who almost certainly are merely trying to break even).
I'm not really suggesting there won't be negative reviews. If a show sucks, by its merit, then yes it ought to be delivered to task written.
But ADN reviewers should enter that darkened room with full familiarity with their unique biases as well as their own ego has their review has the potential to impact box office sales.
Thanks for this forum to respond!
Wow! within a town paper whose reveiws are often either effusive or simple synopsis products was seen this review seems harsh. As somebody who has browse the play had but never seen it (not being part of the elite art scene of old) I needed fun a week ago. Time passes to just about any situation that turns on stage on this town and this play would have been a standout, I had been thoroughly entertained for the duration. Within the show the real stars for me personally were Angela Vice as Sylva and whoever designed the set, it had been too cool, accomplishing a lot in a smaller space. We've already recomended the show to a few people.
We never laughed so desperately! Saturday night, Angela Vice was amazing in her caricature of these lovable, feisty dog, Sylvia. We might see our dog in her own moves. Ed Bourgeois held our attention, since we will relate. His chemistry with Julia Cossman, as Kate, as well as Cossman's acting, helped us. And, we presume Mark Robokoff realized the challenging feat of three distinct characters. Good job all! Good job Teresa Pond! We laughed hysterically, and that we were convinced. Thanks for a most enjoyable evening!
It really is understandable that we now have going to be reviews of shows, so that as testamonials are opinions, nobody will almost certainly acknowledge every review 100 %. It is truley unfortunate how the person sent to review a perfomance was this avid fan from the first show that he started in with high expectations. ie: Had me standing and clapping the second the lights came up.
This would have been a very moving performance to this particular particular reviewer also it should have hit home often to still meet with him after 11 years that he would remember it so vividly he had the entire cast memorized in their mind. I do think from the furture even though it can be great to view someone go ahead to some performance they are reviewing with out relating it to a reveal that they saw during the past. I am still very excited to view the show. I never scene the show before and haing no preconsceived notin of what it is about, I'm looking forward to some great theater coming from a very talented pool of men and women.
I, too, am disappointed to determine so much time invested in comparison towards the production that happened 11 years ago. I saw Christopher's production in 1997 and loved it. However, I used to be willing to go forward and see what this cast, director, and crew of designers been in store. Things i saw would be a fantastic production completely worth the standing ovation it received on Saturday night.
And that i find it a tad condescending to point out how the play isn't actually about dogs, or those who love dogs. The pet/human relationship is often a unique and heartbreaking one (even as choose to enter these relationships knowing we have been more than likely to outlive our pets.) It's not just a metaphor, but a real possibility for several.
Passionate Beagle Owner (and fellow artsnob!)
I appreciate raising the issue of be it correct that compares the actual "Sylvia" with all the first Anchorage production. Admittedly, this type of comparison wouldn't continually be relevant. Nevertheless the 1997 version remains a high water mark in recent local theatrical history: sold-out, extended, reprised, shown to high praise in the playwright himself. In choosing to revisit the script, the producers automatically invite such a comparison and, as one of the a few who nearly elevated beyond my seat as soon as the lights came out and didn't calm down until it turned out over, I'm mighty pleased to do this.
Obviously, mine is not the only opinion around, which explains why we've 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 out loud in just about every scene and Mark gave splendid performances as three different characters. I enjoyed the set and I even enjoyed the sound, an item I do not often rate. I could only hope this ridiculous review won't deter people from attending an excellent (and funny) show. The "Sylvia" that could reach over a decade ago isn't relevant to this production. Honestly, I believe the reviewer ought to be ashamed.
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