Arts Club Theatre Company 


By A.R. Gurney

Directed by Bill Millerd

Granville Island Stage

June 14th to July 22nd

Box Office: 687-1644 or Ticket Master: 280-3311

Sylvia Pees on the Floor, Smells Crotches…She’s a Good Girl!

By Frank C. Scott

In case you are wondering, "Sylvia" is a dog and the Arts Club’s latest summer production. It opened to a full house, received a warm welcome, and at times, generated full-gut-barrel-laughs throughout the audience.

Sylvia explores the urban life of New Yorkers, Greg and Kate. Like many of Gurney's plays, this is a study of middle-class life. On the surface, Gurney gives us farce and foolishness, but below the seemingly boring surface, he reflects complexities and subtle nuances of middle-class married life. The playwright uses this combination well, especially when the subjects of love, loneliness, and purpose, are seen through the eyes of a dog.

Actor and Weatherman Norm Grohmann plays the role of husband Greg. Sherry Bie plays Kate, his wife. When Greg brings Sylvia, a dog, home one day, friction and jealously disrupts their happily married middle-age lives. Sylvia ends up representing everything that is both wrong and right in their lives. She is the symbol for what is lacking and the answer to what is needed.

Jennifer Lines plays the role of Sylvia the dog, and what a performance she gives! She pees, paws, scratches, and cavorts her way through the play. We instantly accept her persona as a dog. Hats off to Ms. Lines for a superb performance.

Allan Zinyk rounds off the cast by playing a collection of characters, both male and female. He plays Tom, a professorial-type animal lover, Phyllis, a socialite, and Leslie, a gender-bending therapist. He plays the female roles to such hilarious perfection it wouldn’t surprise me if he ended up as a contestant in a beauty pageant.

Director Bill Millerd deserves credit for bringing this fine cast together, and for his sensitive direction. The production team also did a fine job in replicating New York City life. Alison Green’s set and costuming contributed to making this hilarious production the success it is.

Whether you’re an avid theatregoer, a tourist in town for a few days, or just looking for something different, put this play on your to-do list. It runs until July 22nd and is worth seeing.