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Man’s best friend becomes woman’s worst enemy

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By Ann Mauzy

It may be a strange sort of mid-life crisis, but it’s a desperately real one, nonetheless. Playing hooky from work (again), Greg is approached in the park by a gorgeous Poodle-Lab mix, whose tag reads, simply, “Sylvia.”

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Sylvia is as tempting as a mistress and Greg becomes infatuated with her and takes her home. At first, Greg’s wife Kate is dismayed by the intrusion of a dog into their lives, as well as Greg’s absence from work. Soon the tension escalates and Kate and Sylvia declare war on each other in their competition for Greg’s attention and loyalty.

The play blends Sylvia the dog, and with Sylvia the female homewrecker with comic results. Sylvia noses visitors in the crotch. She hides Kate’s favorite things. She pursues and seduces male dogs in the park. Director Gwen Lewis said, “I loved this A. R. Gurney script because it’s so much fun, different and a bit off-color.” She said the actors are called upon to do really physical comedy, especially Shay Lower, who plays Sylvia.

It is necessary to note that “Sylvia” contains profanity and adult sexual themes. It is not suitable for children or young teens unaccompanied by an adult. Lewis said, “Think ‘PG-13, Parental Guidance Suggested.’”

In addition to Lower as Sylvia, the members of the unusual love triangle are played by John Gustafson as Greg and Kaki Kelly as Kate. Pat Beck plays the visitor. Eric Bjorklund plays Tom, the owner of Sylvia’s favorite canine stud. Tom imparts some words of wisdom to Greg concerning his unique relationship with Sylvia and the problems it’s causing in the marriage. J. Favorite plays a marriage counselor, who finally advises Kate to get a gun and shoot Sylvia.

Has Greg gone off the deep end? Will he relinquish his attachment to Sylvia and reconnect with his wife? Will Kate go off to England to teach without Greg? Will Sylvia finally win? The audience will have fun finding out.

Los Alamos Little Theatre presents the romantic comedy “Sylvia” At 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, as well as March 19, 20, 26 and 27. There will also be a matinee at 2 p.m. March 21. Tickets are $12 for general admission and $10 students and seniors. Tickets are available at CB Fox and at the door. For more information, call 662-5493.