Pocket's Comedy Sylvia Is A Pleasing Puppy Upper
Cara L. Reid, Dennis G.W. Millegan and Cindee Mayfield
Theater Caps are bite-sized punch-packing capsule reviews by resident theater critic Elaine Liner. Use them as a reminder -- or a teaser, if you procrastinate -- of her full-length reviews in The Mixmaster's weekly sister.
Playwright A.R. Gurney has written more than 40 plays, but it's a good bet Sylvia makes him the most royalty money. It's a silly, enjoyable play about a talking dog and the humans who love her, and it's a favorite for productions on small stages like the Pocket Sandwich Theatre.
Pocket co-owner and director Rodney Dobbs has staged a fine little production there. The title character is played by pigtailed Cara L. Reid, bouncing with the energy of a love-starved puppy. Dennis G.W. Millegen and Cindee Mayfield play Greg and Kate, the Manhattan couple who take the stray doggy in. He's crazy about the pooch; she's not so sure.
Sylvia explores the quirks of human-to-animal dynamics. It's really the dog that trains its master's behavior, no matter how we'd like to think otherwise.
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Actor Ben Bryant deserves extra kibble for his hilarious turn as three different characters: a dog park dude; a snobby society matron; and a gender-uncertain therapist.
This is not a popcorn show at the Pocket, so don't throw anything but kisses at these actors.
Sylvia continues through September 24 at Pocket Sandwich Theatre. Food and beverage service starts at 6:30 p.m. Call 214-821-1860.
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