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March 30, 2004 > Sylvia opens April 23 at Stage 1 Theatre in Newark

Sylvia opens April 23 at Stage 1 Theatre in Newark

by Joanne Engelhardt

Sylvia, A.R. Gurney's zany, touching and exuberant comedy opens at Stage 1 Community Theatre April 23, running four weekends through May 9. Performances are Friday and Saturday evenings at 8 p.m. and Sunday matinees on May 2 and 9 at 2:30 p.m.

All performances are in the Black Box Theatre at Newark Memorial High School, 39375 Cedar Blvd., Newark.

Directed by Karen S. Leonard, Sylvia stars Melissa Harrington as the title character, a lovable mutt who is found by Greg (John Tiedemann). Lynne McIntosh plays Greg's wife, Kate, and John Lathbury rounds out the cast playing three characters: Tom, Leslie and Phyllis.

A.R. Gurney is the author of such Broadway hits as The Dining Room, Love Letters and The Wayside Motor Inn. In Sylvia, the plot revolves around Greg and Kate, who, their children grown, move to Manhattan where Greg's career unravels while Kate's takes off. Experiencing a mid-life crisis, Greg finds the abandoned Sylvia whose street smarts and riotous outlook on life, revives him. But Greg's preoccupation with Sylvia creates friction between him and his wife. Kate feels Sylvia is a rival for her husband's affection, while Sylvia thinks that Kate doesn't grasp the bond between man and man's best friend.

Even with advice from friends and a therapist whose gender is not readily apparent, the marriage teeters on the edge. In the end, through some lively and heartwarming scenes, the couple reconciles and accepts each other and their unpredictable, yet endearing, new member of the family, Sylvia.

Tickets are priced at $18 for general admission, $16 for seniors and college students, $15 for advance purchase and $10 for high school students and younger. Group discounts are available. For more information, call (510) 791-0287 or go to

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