By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Eric Nicholson
It's light comedy played in broad strokes in this production directed by Rodney Dobbs, who also designed the charming paint-by-numbers backdrop of Manhattan as seen from Central Park's Great Lawn.
Inventive comic touches come from actor Ben Bryant in a trio of roles. As Phyllis, Kate's snooty society pal, Bryant, wearing a pink Chanel-style suit, daintily crosses his ankles and declares "all men should be Republicans ... it's good for their prostates." Bryant also plays a dog park dude and a gender-neutral therapist who tries to help Kate and Greg resolve their conflicts over the pup. Watch how the actor creates a unique voice, physical silhouette and precise hand gestures for each character, all funny.
In a break from their wacky "popcorn plays," Pocket plays it safe with Sylvia. Gurney's written more than 40 plays and this one, along with the detestable Love Letters, shows up often on area stages. Contemporary Theatre of Dallas did a good production of it not long ago.
Audiences should know going in that this is not a play during which it is OK to talk back to the performers onstage. This is not the sort of hiss-and-boo melodrama Pocket usually puts on, so it is not appropriate to snarl and/or bark and/or whistle at the actors as they try to get through the evening. Patrons did these things at the performance reviewed. Perhaps the usher/waiters at this booze-serving dinner theater can arm themselves with rolled-up newspapers. If anyone dogs the actors during this show, they'll get a sharp whack on the snout.