By A.R. Gurney
Directed by Amber Jackson
June 7-9 at 7:30 p.m.
When Greg brings home a dog he found in the park, tensions are placed on his marriage to Kate. Sylvia, a sassy street-smart mixture of lab and poodle, quickly becomes a major bone of contention between husband and wife. A.R. Gurney's romantic comedy about a marriage and a dog begs the question, is a pooch man's best friend or a rival for his affection?
"I can only call it one of the most involving, beautiful, funny, touching, and profound plays I have ever seen..." NY DAILY NEWS
Student Production Staff
|Stage Manager||Ellen Miller|
Baylor's "Sylvia" - it's a dog's laugh
By Carl Hoover, Waco Tribune-Herald
June 8, 2007
Dog-lovers and those married to them will nod understandingly at the laughs in the Baylor Theatre production of A.R. Gurney's "Sylvia," which continues tonight and Saturday (June 8 and 9) at 7:30 p.m. in Theater 11 inside Baylor's Hooper-Schaefer Fine Arts Center.
The three-person comedy, directed by grad student Amber Jackson, explores the tensions that result when unhappy New York stocks trader Greg (a sympathetic Patrick Matzig) picks up an exuberant stray lab-poodle mix named Sylvia (Mary Laws) during a walk through the park. Much to the chagrin of his academic wife Kate (Meredith Owens), on the verge of advancing her career after their kids have left for college, Greg devotes more time and energy to the dog than her.
With a floppy energy and puppylike immediacy, Laws provided much of the play's comedy on opening night, whether it's her calculated attempts to foil Kate and sneak on the couch or her cat-triggered profane outbursts. She's aided by clever costuming touches such as pigtails, hair ribbons and matching owner-dog outfits, as well as Gurney's witty script.
Next to Laws as Sylvia, the evening's biggest laughs came from Sam Hough's assortment of odd characters - dog-owning Tom who's free with Bronx-accented advice on the perils of dog-owning; prim socialite Phyllis, with her goldfish-loving husband; and the androgynous therapist Leslie.
As the cool and orderly Kate, Owens has the least sympathetic character, but she does manage to win a measure of the audience's regard by comedy's end.
Strong language and some sexual references - particularly when Sylvia goes into heat - make "Sylvia" more suited for older audiences, but it's an entertaining production and proof that movies and television haven't cornered the market on laughs.
Tickets cost $10. Call the Baylor Theatre box office at 710-1865 for information.