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Gurney's "Sylvia," probably the most widelyloved show in the future off Broadway since "The Sound of Music," is not actually about dogs, doglovers or dogloverlovers, though those three characters include the core in the play. It comes down to 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 in the park. Greg's wife, Kate, can not advance her career, is not warm towards the thought of keeping a major dog inside a city apartment but, more critically, senses that Sylvia fills a need in Greg which she cannot, thereby tossing her lifetime into crisis.
Though the drama is presented as comedy, along with the audience laughed readily and repeatedly Friday night at Cyrano's. Gurney's lines remain uproarious, particularly when delivered as dialogue between man and dog.
Teresa Pond's direction keeps encounter sparkling, but the production seems less heartfelt and spontaneous as opposed to original Cyrano's staging of 11 years ago. If might be that Pond was without the advantages of the talent available to Bostin Christopher in 1997.
Memory may be faulty, and the newness in the play doubtlessly brought its very own excitement in older days. But Christopher's key trio of David Hayes, Annie Stokes with an exquisitely energetic Shanwne Albright within the title role were described in a Daily News review at the time as "one of the extremely effective ensembles seen in Anchorage in a long while" before or since i have might add. The playwright, who expressed reservations when told although see his play at the Last Frontier Theatre Conference in Valdez later that year wound up praising this cast as corresponding to any he'd observed in the various components.
Angela Vice's Sylvia is physically convincing and attitudinally on track, but she doesn't have the dogly faces which Albright sold the part. Ed Bourgeois likewise carries negligence Greg correctly, but he's not the mensch, the everyman, that individuals recall Haynes projecting. Section of the problem may be he plays the type with plenty of of a beard that his recognizable facial expressions are restricted to movements of his eyebrows.
The stiffness on this pair maybe as a result of opening night tensions, though I do think all of them are veterans is shared with the Kate, Julia Cossman, in whom you find little softness, a characteristic Stokes discovered within the script and helpful to prove a sympathetic character that infused the full entertainment with a believability that has been, in retrospect, astonishing, especially given that it is more about a talking dog.
What the current three have that the main trio lacked is good singing voices, crucial in an important first act scene whenever they sing "Everytime We are saying Goodbye." Only Stokes could hit a pitch in 1997; the other voices were notable for their silliness greater than their musicality.
The final actor, Mark Robokoff, plays three incidental roles with aplomb. His handle Tom, a fellow dog owner, is strikingly diverse from Peter Ruocco's version 11 years ago, 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 is really a fresh surprise.
It's hard not to compare the 2 productions to the downside of the actual show. But people that haven't yet seen this modern fable and most who may have will nonetheless enjoy the storyplot, the jokes, the antics and also the whole thought of human/animal relationships. Fat loss to not check this out play and consider several dogs one has known; Gurney's aim was dead on whilst invented his subject. The 1st night sold out and, in the dogcrazy town like Anchorage, there's no good reason that 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 in the theatre after i saw Sylvia last weekend!
Mr. Dunham, I am looking forward to reading your reviews and sometimes view them as accurate and onthemark, even when this 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 is perhaps all all of us are in the city (unless there's some secret meetings of Actors Equity taking place that we don't know about) then as a possible actor, you cope with your bruised ego.
That being said Sir, I felt it turned out unfair to this current cast of Sylvia to compare these phones the Sylvia cast of 11 years ago. I might have liked to learn an assessment that took this cast to work for their particular successes and their shortcomings. That could have already been a reasonable review.
However, I can not review this show without bias myself, while i have directed or worked directly with several from the cast i simply adore Sandy, i really will not likely supply a detailed one here.
I am aware, from top notch feel the personal and financial costs of setting up a show. Nobody I am aware on this town makes a bunch of cash on it, even when it absolutely was a roaring success. Carry out it b/c we love it. Perform it b/c we would like to send to the community in your own way. Minimal, I really believe, all of us can get is to be reviewed fairly.
I would love to remind ADN reviewers (the paid kind which are assigned a show) that they should take their job of reviewing a show very seriously. It's not just as a result of actor egos, that i would be the first to confess can never sometimes be satisfied, but b/c you can find real-world financial losses for individuals involved. An unfair review, while unfortunate for your actors, might be devastating to the producers (who most likely are simply wanting to break even).
I'm not really suggesting that there will not be negative reviews. If the show sucks, by its own merit, then yes it ought to be taken to task in writing.
But ADN reviewers should enter that darkened room with full familiarity with their particular biases in addition to their own ego and the fact that their review has the potential to impact box office sales.
Thank you for this forum to reply!
Wow! within a town paper whose reveiws are often either effusive or simple synopsis of what was seen this review seems harsh. As somebody who has read the play had but never witnessed it (not area of the elite art scene of old) I had a great time a week ago. I go to just about any situation that turns on stage within this town this also play was obviously a standout, I became thoroughly entertained for that duration. Inside show the true stars for me personally were Angela Vice as Sylva and whoever designed the set, it absolutely was too cool, accomplishing a good deal in a small space. I have already recomended the show a number of people.
We never laughed so desperately! Saturday night, Angela Vice was amazing in her own caricature of these lovable, feisty dog, Sylvia. We're able to see our dog in their own moves. Ed Bourgeois held our attention, since we will relate. His chemistry with Julia Cossman, as Kate, along with Cossman's acting, helped us. And, the world thinks Mark Robokoff pulled off the hard feat of three distinct characters. Good job all! Congratulations Teresa Pond! We laughed hysterically, and that we were convinced. Thank you for a most enjoyable evening!
It can be understandable that we now have likely to be reviews of shows, so that as comments are opinions, nobody is going to agree with every review 100 %. It's truley unfortunate the person shipped to review a perfomance was this kind of avid fan in the first demonstrate that he were only available in rich in expectations. ie: Had me standing and clapping as soon as the lights emerged.
This would have been a very moving performance to the particular reviewer and it will need to have hit home in lots of ways to still meet with him after 11 years that they would remember it so vividly that they had the complete cast memorized in his mind. I think within the furture community . can be great to determine someone go in to some performance they are reviewing with out relating it into a show they saw before. I am still very excited to find out the show. I have never scene the show before and haing no preconsceived notin of what it's about, I'm looking forward to some terrific theater coming from a very talented pool of people.
I, too, am disappointed to determine much time spent on comparison for the production that happened 11 years back. I saw Christopher's production in 1997 and loved it. However, I was willing to move on and see what this cast, director, and crew of designers had in store. Some tips i saw was a fantastic production completely deserving of the standing ovation it received on Saturday night.
And that i still find it a tiny bit condescending to suggest how the play isn't really about dogs, or individuals who love dogs. The pet/human relationship is often a unique and heartbreaking one (even as choose to enter these relationships knowing we're most probably to live 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 or not it's correct to check the actual "Sylvia" using the first Anchorage production. Admittedly, such a comparison wouldn't continually be relevant. Nevertheless the 1997 version remains a higher water mark in recent local theatrical history: sold-out, extended, reprised, shown to high praise through the playwright himself. In picking to revisit the script, the producers automatically invite a real comparison and, as among the many people who nearly elevated from my seat when the lights came up and didn't calm down until it was over, I'm mighty thrilled to do this.
Obviously, mine is not the only opinion around, which is the reason we now have 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 made me laugh aloud in just about every scene and Mark gave splendid performances as three different characters. I enjoyed the set and I even enjoyed the sound, a piece I would not often rate. I will hope this ridiculous review will not deter people from attending an excellent (and funny) show. The "Sylvia" that has reached over not many years ago isn't strongly related this production. Honestly, I do think the reviewer ought to be ashamed.
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