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In 'Sylvia,' stray dog brings couple to heel

Dog lovers — this one's for you (and everyone else, too, of course).

The Rotary Club of Trinity is bringing the Carrollwood Players to Richey Suncoast Theatre in New Port Richey to do one performance of the Broadway comedy Sylvia, the tale of a talking dog who becomes "the other woman" of sorts in a shaky marriage.

It's a fundraiser for children's charities and organizations in west Pasco, according to Ray Ford, the Rotarian whose wife, Dee, is the award-winning director of the play.

"Dee has also received awards for various roles she has played, but, if the truth be told, directing is her preference," Ray Ford said.

In the play, long-wedded couple Greg and Kate have reared their kids, sent them off to college, sold their suburban home and moved to New York City. Kate (Ginger King) is blossoming as an inner-city school teacher. Greg (Marty Simon) is withering as a bored stockbroker.

Enter Sylvia (Karen Bray), a large dog that someone abandoned in a park near the couple's home. Sylvia and Greg instantly bond, and before long, Sylvia is sleeping between the couple at night, going on weekend jaunts with them and going out to lunch with Greg.

Kate is not amused by the dog hair on the furniture, and she's taken aback when she overhears Greg call Sylvia the little pet names that he once called her. Suddenly, Sylvia doesn't seem like a sweet little dog; she seems like a rival for Greg's affections.

And, in between scratching her ears, lunging for a passing cat and sniffing for hidden treasures in the grass, Sylvia says out loud what Greg and Kate can't say for themselves.

The situation is observed by friends Phyllis and Leslie (both played by Tony Panaccio) and Tom (Kevin Kobasko) with interest and alarm.

The original Sylvia played off-Broadway in 1995 with Sarah Jessica Parker in the title role, Blythe Danner as Kate and Charles Kimbrough as Greg.

"This is a show about our need to love and be loved, whether we are happy, sad, male, female, human or otherwise," Ray Ford said.

if you go

Going to the dogs

What: Sylvia, a comedy

Where: Richey Suncoast Theatre, 6239 Grand Blvd., New Port Richey

When: 8 p.m. Feb. 7

Tickets: $20, available at the Richey Suncoast Theatre box office from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. today and Saturday, or call (727) 842-6777 and leave a message. You may also call Ray Ford at (727) 375-0811 or any Trinity Rotary member.

In 'Sylvia,' stray dog brings couple to heel 01/29/09 [Last modified: Thursday, January 29, 2009 7:14pm]
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