JANUARY 13, 1997
New show at Rep is a 'howling' success
by Deborah Stone
Dog lovers and non-dog lovers alike will find the Seattle Rep's smash hit comedy Sylvia a heart-warming experience.
The play, written by A.R. Gurney and directed by David Saint, centers around the relationship between New York businessman Greg, played by the likable R. Hamilton Wright, and his lab-poodle-mix dog Sylvia, performed by the multi-talented Barbara Dirickson. This relationship, based on mutual adoration, threatens Greg's wife Kate, played by Sally Smythe, who views Sylvia as a major interference in her lifestyle.
Relations in the household grow strained and Greg's and Kate's marriage begins to crumble. Finally, it is up to Greg to decide who his best friend is, his dog or his wife. There are many hilarious moments in this romantically witty comedy, as well as bittersweet ones which allow the audience to see humanity in its truest form.
Dirickson manages to give her character of Sylvia remarkably recognizable canine nuances. Dog owners and those who know dogs well will identify and respond to her behaviors with much humor. The sets are classy depictions of New York City and the accompanying background Cole Porter music sets the moods of the various scenes.
Sylvia runs through January 25th. For ticket information, call 443-2222.