tanna frederick today

June 1, 2011

Sylvia is a Hit!!!

Stephen Howard, Tanna Frederick and Cathy Arden - photo by John Heller

I’ve been checking the Sylvia website (www.sylviatheplay.com) and you should see the reviews! They’re incredible. My friend Edward took his whole family (his father, his wife, their two kids and two other friends) to see Sylvia this past weekend and they all loved it. He saw it at the Sierra Madre Playhouse and liked it even better this time, at the Edgemar. He, like everyone else I know who saw both productions (and loved both) say this one is much funnier. I guess a different director (in this case, Gary Imhoff) can really make a difference.

Tanna Frederick gets to go all out in her doggyness – and she does. I’d be exhausted after the first act if I ran around and did all the stuff she does. I know she’s in incredible physical condition. She runs marathons, surfs and does Tae Kwon Do, so all that physical activity probably doesn’t phase her.

There’s also the emotional range of her character. Sylvia is, like any dog, totally excited to see and greet enthusiastically. She goes into a rage when she sees a cat (one of the funniest scenes in the play). She’s in awe of Greg (played wonderfully by Stephen Howard) and at one point gushes, “I think you’re God.” When she sees that Bowser (the hot male dog in the dog park) is there, she gets all cute. When Greg gets her fixed, she’s really moody. She goes through all sorts of changes with Kate (Cathy Arden), running the gamut from trying to get Kate to like her to one-upping her, showing Kate that she’s the new Number One in Greg’s life. It’s amazing to watch.

Cathy Arden actually manages to get you to like and even admire Kate. She’s got a tough role to play and she really pulls it off. Under Gary Imhoff’s direction, her character is fuller, more real.

Tom Ayers is spectacular as two characters – the tough guy in the dog park (Bowser’s owner) and as Kate’s girlfriend from Vassar. He elicits some side-splitting laughter from the audience in both cases.

I’m not an actor or a director, and I don’t know how directors do what they do, but I think Gary Imhoff is a genius. He’s taken A. R. Guerney’s marvelous play, a frighteningly talented cast, a beautiful Joel Daavid set and created a masterpiece.

Check out the reviews – I haven’t seen a bad one yet!


1 Comment »

  1. I am such a dog lover! Actually, I think I am part dog, (but don’t tell my mother I said that.) It’s because I like routines so much: same restaurants, same menu selection, same schedule, etc. I am distraught that I am on the west coast (of Florida) at the moment, and can’t get to see Sylvia. It sounds like a real hit. Good for Tanna. She’s perfect for such and energetic and creative role. Keep ’em comin’.

    Comment by Bren Greene — June 1, 2011 @ 7:05 pm |Reply

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