By A.R. Gurney
Directed by Kay Files
March 5, 6, 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21
SYLVIA: Wendy Schneider
GREG: John Carambat
KATE: Debbie Carambat
TOM: Martin Booda
PHYLLIS: Jane McNulty
LESLIE: Liz Zelenka
See Rehearsal Photos
An adult comedy about a dog, the man that loves her, the woman that loves him, and the zany acquaintances they meet along the way." The action centers upon a stray dog, Sylvia, who disturbs the marriage of Greg and Kate, a couple married for 22 years who have recently become empty-nesters.
"Dramatic literature is stuffed with memorable love scenes, but none is as immediately delicious and dizzy as the one that begins the redeeming affair in A.R. Gurney's new comedy, SYLVIA…" —NY Times.
"I can only call it one of the most involving, beautiful, funny, touching and profound plays I have ever seen…" —NY Daily News.
"Gurney's mad comedy is the most endearing good time to trot down the pike in many a moon. Howlingly funny…" —BackStage.
Reservations Call: 985-893-1671
‘Sylvia’ a zany hit at Playmakers Theater
By Lou Gavin
Published on Thursday, March 11, 2010
St. Tammany News
There is a musical production about cats. In fact, Playmakers’ version of the acclaimed musical “Cats” will be on stage this coming July. So one has to wonder, where’s the musical about dogs? Until one comes along, lovers of man’s best friend will be more than satisfied with Playmakers’ production about a dog of undetermined breed named Sylvia. The play is a zany, yet warm, whimsical story of the love of a man for his dog.
Actually, “Sylvia” is a play all about a dog named Sylvia, the couple that adopts her and the drama that results. The play is cleverly penned by A.R. Gurney, one of America’s most prolific playwrights perhaps best know for his scripting of his acclaimed plays, “The Cocktail Hour” and “Love Letters.” His “Sylvia” is brilliantly brought to life on stage by director Kay M. Files who has assembled exceptionally talented actors who fit their roles perfectly.
This show is a natural for anyone who has had a dog, a cat or any other animal as a pet. In this play, the dog is played by a human, Wendy Schneider. Greg, (John Carambat) a middle-aged business man who is dissatisfied with his job, brings home to his New York apartment that he shares with his wife Kate (Debbie Carambat), a feisty stray female dog named Sylvia.
The play then becomes a love story between Greg and Sylvia and how this relationship soon disrupts a tranquil, yet boring 22-year marriage between Greg and his Kate. Greg becomes completely obsessed with Sylvia and Kate fears that their marriage is falling apart. In fact, Kate wants Sylvia gone. But they eventually decide that Sylvia will stay for a few days before they decide she can stay longer. In between all this, the play is beautifully acted and is truly a comedic gem.
The play belongs to Wendy Schneider who is perfectly believable in her dog-like actions from expressing her love for Greg, to her sniffing about and even going after a cat in a romping dog-cat rage. She appears in costumes from old street attire to a revealing cocktail dress. Greg’s emotional dilemma is perfectly played by John Carambat, one of Playmakers more popular actors, as a man in a middle age crisis who loves his wife but resents her hostility toward Sylvia.
Debbie Carambat (who is married to John in real life too) handles her role as Kate exceptionally well, convincingly portraying her fury and hurt over the relationship between Sylvia and Greg. She is an English teacher who goes around quoting lines from Shakespeare. These three show their stage versatility by singing the song “Every Time We Say Goodbye.”
Martin Booda is a real hoot as Tom who Greg meets in the park while walking Sylvia. Tom, who has his dog Bowser with him, gives Greg tips on handling dogs. Sylvia takes a shine to Bowser and Greg watches in horror as the two canines off-stage do what comes naturally which results in Sylvia being spayed. Jane McNulty as Kate’s rather snooty friend, Phyllis, while briefly on stage, is a delight to watch as she reacts to Sylvia’s unsavory habits. Liz Zelenka who plays Leslie, a psychiatrist of dubious gender, to whom Greg and Kate go for counseling, almost steals the show with her riveting performance.
Assisting Files as stage manager is Melanie Yayno; set designer, John Carambat; lights and sound, Alex Lavanway and Carson Cromartie; poster design, John Carambat; poster lay our, Wendy Schneider; program, Jan Pine; publicity, Ellen O’Connell.
This is an adult comedy with some course language, but it is a must see laugh out loud play. Other performances are on Friday and Saturday March 12, 13, 19, 20 at 8 p.m. and Sunday matinees are March 21 and 28 at 2 p.m. For information and ticket reservations, call the Playmakers box office at 893-1671.
Playmakers Theater is located on Playmakers Road off Lee Road.