Theatre Mirror Reviews-"Sylvia"

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide


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entire contents copyright 2014 by Tony Annicone

"Sylvia" Attleboro

A Review by Tony Annicone

The final show of the 57th season of Attleboro Community Theatre is "Sylvia" by A. R. Gurney. Greg is a middle-aged business who is disenchanted with his job and is somewhat adrift in his life. He finds a stray dog in the park. She is adorned with a dog collar which only has her name Sylvia on it. Greg brings the dog home much to the consternation of his rather rigid wife, Kate. Sylvia is a somewhat frisky,cussing, hormonal, mixed breed. Greg is absolutely adored by the dog, causing resentment, jealousy, and downright dislike by Kate who believes Greg spends too much time with the pup. While at the park, Greg meets a fellow dog lover, Tom who owns the studly dog, Bowser. Meanwhile Kate talks openly about her dislike of Sylvia to Phyllis her fellow classmate from Vassar because of this turmoil in her neat, orderly home, Kate insists they both see Leslie, the ambiguous therapist. Director Doug Green infuses the show with high energy, combines the comic and dramatic moments together to create a show the audience can really sink its teeth into and enough thoroughly from start to finish.

Leading this terrific six member cast is Kelly McCabe as Sylvia. She is brilliant in this role, delivering a tour-de-force performance. Her comic one liners are hilarious as are her hijinks as this mischievous pooch. Her facial expressions and reactions during the show especially in the encounter with the cat, with Bowser and when she is spayed are standout moments for her. Also funny is when she puts her head in Phyllis' crotch. Kelly has always been very talented even as a young girl when I directed her in "Annie" back in 1995 she showed a strong acting ability. Brava!

Mark Gallagher plays the demanding role of Greg and is fantastic. His warmth and genuiness towards his dog is wonderful to behold. Mark makes the relationship between man and dog believable. He delivers a heartfelt performance in this role and his interactions with the rest of the cast are topnotch, too. Gwendolyn Adams plays Kate, the jealous, shrewish wife. She handles the comic moments wonderfully when she is yelling as the dog to stay off the couch or calling her saliva and has a poignant scene near the end of the show when she finds Sylvia's red ball. Jim Harvey is funny as the other dog owner who instructs Greg on how to handle Sylvia. He uses a Brooklyn accent in the role. Carlos Getierez is a hoot as Kate's best friend from Vassar who Sylvia likes to jump on. He is dressed in drag. Last but not least is Paula Dugan as the shrink who hopes to help the tension between Greg and Kate. She lets her patients determine whether she is a man or woman. I directed Paula back in "Last of the Red Hot Lovers" in 2008. So for fun filled performance with poignancy mixed into it, be sure to catch "Sylvia" in Atttleboro before time runs out.

"Sylvia" (9 - 25 May)
@ 71 North Main Street, ATTLEBORO MA

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide