tanna frederick today

April 24, 2011

Doing It Doggy Style

Cathy Arden, Tanna Frederick and Stephen Howard

I am a dog lover. I’ve had dogs since I was a little kid and I can’t imagine life without them. I think I might have been a dog in another life. I’ve been called a “dog whisperer” more than a few times. I’ve had the experience where I’ll be out walking somewhere and encounter a dog owner who says. “He won’t let you pet him” and a few seconds later the dog is lying on his back letting me scratch his tummy. The dog owner is always shocked and says, “He never lets anybody do that!” I love dogs and they know it.

My current best friend is a mutt named Moochie. He’s probably a cross between a German shepherd, a labrador retriever and a vacuum cleaner. I love him. He’s a hilarious, large animal who tries desperately to look thin when he’s begging for your food. Hence the name Moochie.

So what does all this have to do with Tanna Frederick? She will be starring in the A. R. Guerney play Sylvia. It opens at the Edgemar Center For The Arts on May 20, 2011. It’s a wonderful play and Tanna plays an energetic, loveable dog, a role that she is perfect for. I saw Sylvia at the Sierra Madre Playhouse and the audience loved it, too. Here’s the story:

Greg and his wife, Kate, have just moved to Manhattan after their last child has gone off to college. Greg’s in the middle of a midlife crisis and on a walk, is discovered by a stray dog, Sylvia, a peppy poodle/labrador mix. Greg, charmed by Sylvia, brings her home, much to Kate’s dismay. She agrees to let him keep Sylvia for a only few days and you know what happens – he gets attached to her. Unfortunately, Kate doesn’t, and the fur flies. Sylvia understands Greg and what he’s going through and Kate is worried that she’s losing him to this unruly mutt. And the story goes on with life’s lessons about middle age, marriage, dogs, jealousy and love.

A.R. Guerney is a genius. Sylvia is very well-written. If you’re a dog lover, you’ll love it. If you’re not a dog lover, your viewpoint is well-represented here and I think you’ll feel validated. Maybe you’ll even like dogs a little better.

Tanna Frederick does a fantastic job of playing a dog with all the doggy mannerisms. In an interview she said she studied for the role by hanging out with her dog, Garbo. I’d love to know what Garbo thinks of Sylvia.

I can’t wait to see the set by award-winning set designer Joel Daavid. If you saw the Henry Jaglom play Just 45 Minutes From Broadway you’ll remember the set. I saw the play 3 times, with different friends and every time people walked into the theatre and looked at the set someone said. “I could live here.” I counted 9 separate “rooms” or spaces in the wonderful old house. I can’t imagine what Daavid will come up with this time.

The opening night show will be a fundraiser for New Leash on Life, a Los Angeles and Chicago-based organization which rescues animals, spays and neuters, does obedience training, finds home for them and/or trains them to be assistance animals or therapy animals to people in need. They have numerous programs and are a very worthy cause. Check out their website at http://www.nlol.org/aboutnlol.asp.

In the play, there are a few scenes at the dog park. There are no actors portraying the dogs at the dog park. I wonder if they’d let me play one of the dogs. Maybe for one special night at the Edgemar they’ll let a few of us be dogs. A girl can dream…

Go to see Sylvia. It’s a tail-wagging good time.

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2 Comments »

  1. I know of a couple real life parallels. And, we canines, and many other animals, can sense sincerity, friendliness, and fondness and react to those favorably, unlike humans who sometimes associate the same traits with weakness to be exploited.
    Sandy
    http://www.sandysays1.wordpress.com

    Comment by SandySays1 — April 24, 2011 @ 8:38 pm |Reply

  2. That is too true! And that’s what I love about doggies and other animals. They’re very accepting and loving. I used to have a cat named Schneider. If I was depressed, he would do something funny to cheer me up. I’ve had that experience with other animals. No question that they’re our best friends. 🙂

    Comment by Tannablogger — April 27, 2011 @ 1:50 am |Reply


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