tanna frederick today

May 24, 2011

Sylvia Sparkles at the Edgemar

Tanna Frederick - photo by John Heller

I knew Sylvia was going to be good because I’d seen it at the Sierra Madre Playhouse a few months ago. It was great back then. I loved it. What I didn’t know was that with a new director (Gary Imhoff), a beautiful new Joel Daavid set and the addition of Tom Ayers to the cast, that it would be ten times better than before.

Gary Imhoff is a master director. The characters are so much richer than before. And Tanna Frederick’s physical comedy gets a full workout.

As I’ve said in the past, Tanna Frederick has the doggy thing down. All the mannerisms and doggy behaviors (like enthusiastically greeting people as only a dog can) are there. And they’re extremely funny. In terms of over-the-top physical comedy, I’d like to see her in something with Jim Carrey and Steve Martin.

Cathy Arden and Stephen Howard reprise their roles as Greg and Kate. They too, have somehow more developed, richer characters this time. The addition of Tom Ayers to the cast is perfect. He plays two characters -Phyllis, Kate’s stuffy friend from Vassar, and the wacky, tough New Yorker in the dog park who gives sage advice to Greg in matters of love, dogs and books. Both characters are marvelous and extremely funny.

The Edgemar’s main stage is a wonderful place to see a play. Because the action is right there at front-row level, I got the experience of actually being IN the scenes. This is distinct from being in the front row and looking up at actors on a stage. It’s intimate. As we walked into the theatre, a woman in front of me looked at the set and said, “I could live here.” That seems to be a common experience when people see one of Daavid’s sets. It happened with the set Daavid designed for the Henry Jaglom play, Just 45 Minutes From Broadway. I wonder what Joel Daavid’s house looks like.

The first review of Sylvia is in, from Irene Rubaum-Keller at the Huffington Post. Read it here:

I just realized that I’ve used the words “extremely funny” more than once in this blog entry. Well. that’s what it is – extremely funny. So call the Edgemar, reserve your tickets and go see Sylvia. Here’s ticket info: http://www.edgemar.org/events/271″title=”EdgemarCenterfortheArts-Tickets

Thur. Fri. & Sat. at 7:30pm & Sun. at 5pm
Edgemar Center For The Arts
2437 Main Street
Santa Monica, CA


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