CALDERWOOD PAVILION , BOSTON, MA
Greg, a middle-aged, empty-nester who is tired of his job in finance, is looking for meaning in his life. Sylvia, an exuberant and beautiful stray in Central Park, is looking for a new home. When they meet, it is love at first sight. Things begin to get a little “ruff” for Greg, however, as his wife Kate is less than thrilled by the street-smart canine who jumps, slobbers, sits on her couch, and takes all of Greg’s attention. Sylvia promptly becomes a bone of contention between Greg and Kate, testing their marriage to hilarious and touching effect. Gurney’s Sylviais a smart, sophisticated comedy about relationships and growing older. Whether you own a dog or just like to laugh, you will love Sylvia.
Photos courtesy of David Costa Photography
BEVERLY CREASEY OF BOSTON ARTS REVIEW SAYS,
“Dirik is all pup: She’s saucy, impetuous and desperate to be loved. And she’s not above flashing those irresistible puppy dog eyes at her master (Allan Mayo) when his wife (Kim McClure) opposes the adoption. Gurney’s script is smart, literate and just a bit shameless when Sylvia does, well, what dogs do with other dogs. See the production for Dirik’s outrageous performance and for David Anderson’s nifty hat trick: first as a macho, nosey, know-it-all dog owner, then as a ritzy Vassar alumna, and lastly, Anderson tops it off as a lunatic shrink who invites patients to choose whether they want a male or a female therapist, as (s)he can be either! Believe it on not, the hilarious script has something serious to say about connecting with nature… and our need to bond with animals.”
NANCY GROSSMAN OF BROADWAY WORLD (BWW) SAYS,
“Hilarious and heartwarming in equal measure, the play is a welcome respite from the spate of heftier, more serious dramatic works meant to resonate with our times and make us think. Supported by the strong performances of the human characters, Dirik is truly the top dog in Sylvia. Talk about adrenaline, she explodes onto the stage in the opening scene, caroming from pillar to post, sniffing every object at a dog's nose level with a puppy's manic energy. Her joy in her new home is infectious, transmitting to Greg and the audience. (Full disclosure: I am not a dog person, but I wanted to take Sylvia home with me.) Theater UnCorked has taken its audiences on a wild ride during this first season. From murder and mayhem (Sweeney Todd), to mental illness and mayhem (One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest), to a mutt and marital mayhem (Sylvia), there seems to be a message in this mad method. Be on the lookout for more mayhem in November when season two kicks off with Ruthless! The Musical. Until then, only two performances of Sylvia remain (tonight is sold out) and there might be a dogfight for tickets for the Sunday matinee.”
MICHAEL HOBAN OF THE THEATER MIRROR SAYS,
“In 2019 who doesn’t need to laugh (non-stop) for 2 hours (including intermission). It seems relatively easy to do on a limited budget, set mostly in a Manhattan apartment, a bench in the park, a therapist’s office and the 2W, 2M (flexible casting) are all meaty roles with delicious dialogue. Turns out finding the right cast and creative team is the key, and Theater Uncorked, a new company founded by producing artistic director Shana Dirik, presents a delightful production. Dirik plays the titular role, which was originated on Broadway by Annaleigh Ashford and also played by Sarah Jessica Parker early in their careers. Dirik has been around the block many times, and her experience shows. Her physicality is marvelous (Sylvia jumps on couches, leaps in mid-air, dashes to meet a boy-dog in the park, and humps in heat!) and displays a broad emotional range in her face and voice. In her performance, Dirik brings out her lived understanding of marital relationships, desire for connection and stability but also to run free, and cynicism when asked by her master to demonstrate tricks. David Anderson shows his versatility and great comedic chops as Tom, Phyllis and Leslie, and Allan Mayo and Kimberly McClure display the depth of their acting skills as Greg and Kate. And they can sing! “
susan mulford of BOSTON AND BEYOND/ART & ENTERTAINMENT says,
“Noted American playwright, novelists and screen writer, A.R.Gurney’s Sylvia is a clever, sophisticated (punctuated with an occasional four letter word), as well as incredibly enjoyable and very funny piece of theatrical marshmallow fluff! It is packed with wonderful, non-political (totally refreshing in this day and age), laugh out loud comedy about relationships and growing older while calling to mind every trick and personality flaw of any dog one may have ever known. But, you don't have to be a pet owner to appreciate this production. You just have to sit back and laugh as Sylvia, the often times irascible but hysterically adorable dog, brilliantly played by multiple IRNE nominee and award winner, Shana Dirik*, who I almost wanted to give a congratulatory scratch behind the ears after the performance, runs amuck in middle-aged, empty-nesters, Greg and Kate's home. “
* Denotes members of Actor’s Equity Association
Shana Dirik* - Sylvia Allan Mayo* - Greg Kimberly McClure - Kate David Anderson-Tom/Phyllis/Leslie
Michelle is happy to be part of TUC and the team of artists that Shana Dirik has assembled. She has been directing, acting, and producing theatre in the Boston area for 23 years. Michelle has received Independent Reviewers of New England (IRNE) awards for Best Actress (COMMUNICATING DOORS) and Best Director (G.R. Point). She also received the Best Director award (RABBIT HOLE) at the Eastern Massachusetts Association of Community Theatres (EMACT) festival. She received her theater education from San Francisco State University, California State University at Long Beach, and the National Theater of London. Michelle teaches visual arts and theatre to grade-school children and is a private chef. Directing credits include MARJORIE PRIME, PILLOWMAN, RABBIT HOLE, GOOD PEOPLE, KIMBERLY AKIMBO, SENSE AND SENSIBILITY, LOOKING FOR NORMAL, A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM, G.R. POINT (Hovey Players), COMMUNICATING DOORS, RAPTURE BLISTER BURN (Vokes Theater), PROOF (Nora Theatre Company/Central Square Theater), DISGRACED and TRUE WEST (Umbrella Arts Center), RETURN TO MORALITY (Titanic Theater, Central Square Theater), OF MICE AND MEN (Quannapowitt Players), GOD OF CARNAGE, ANTON IN SHOW BUSINESS (Acme Theater), MISS SAIGON, SECRET GARDEN (Turtle Lane Playhouse), and GODSPELL (Metro Stage Company.
Kailey Bennett-Stage Manager John Pease-Asst Stage Manager Anna Silva-Costume Design Michael Clark Wonson-Lighting Design
Chris Brousseau-Sound Design Ozlem Uluoglu-Production Team Asli Guvenc-Production Team Gene Dante-Production Team