“Give a dog a woman’s name and you begin to think of it as a woman,” says one of the characters in this charming American comedy. And that is exactly what happens to Greg who brings home from the park, fleas and all, a stray dog named Sylvia (played on Broadway by Sarah Jessica Parker). Sylvia immediately establishes herself as Greg’s constant companion. She does what dogs do: she loves him unconditionally. She is playful, adores to be petted and scratched, and hangs on his every word. A dog is just what middle-aged Greg, who is losing interest in his job and not coping well with the challenges of middle-age, seems to need at this stage in his life. His wife Kate, on the other hand, quickly recognizes Sylvia as a rival for Greg’s affections and a threat to their marriage. Since the dog is played by an attractive young actress, the parallel to a man in mid-life crisis with a lover right under his wife’s nose is unmistakable. Soon Greg must choose between wife and dog. It is not an easy decision for him. Even the advice of friends and a therapist, whose gender is not certain, seems unable to cure Greg of his fascination with Sylvia.
Since its opening on Broadway in 1995, SYLVIA has become one of the most popular and frequently produced comedies in contemporary theatre. Its main character is loveable, witty, outspoken and slightly disobedient. And three of the characters are played by the same actor, which is an additional pleasure for the audience to watch. SYLVIA is an hilarious commentary on mid-life angst and the obsessive role that pets can play in our lives, often to the exclusion of human relationships.
“I can only call it one of the most involving, beautiful, funny, touching and profound plays I have ever seen…” New York Daily News