Matthew Broderick stars in the Broadway revival about a couple whose lives are changed when the husband brings home a dog he finds in Central Park. More…
'Sylvia' is about what happens when a smart, sassy canine befriends a New Yorker in Central Park and changes his and his wife’s life forever. The comedy takes a look into the complexities of love and commitment and asks what it truly means to be devoted to your partner…and how you choose between the love of your life and man’s best friend. Starring two-time Tony winner Matthew Broderick and Tony-winner Annaleigh Ashford.
"This truly is one of those must-see performances that will stick with you for some time. Broderick gives the sort of cartoonish, oddball performance that it works unusually well here, and he has terrific chemistry with Ashford. In their hands, 'Sylvia' is a most unusual, quite touching love story." Full Review
"How can anyone not fall in love with Sylvia? Especially as portrayed by Annaleigh Ashford who is well on her way to fetching another Tony for her full immersion in doggy behavior and brilliant comedic timing…'Sylvia' is extremely funny…Daniel Sullivan has directed with a steady leash…As they say 'Every dog has its day' and Sylvia is the mutt of the moment. Highly recommended." Full Review
"For all its calculated silliness, 'Sylvia' is, one suspects, as much a personal work as any other Gurney play. This becomes clear in the finale, which offers a fast forward to reveal 'Sylvia's' ultimate fate; it's a touching realization of the melancholy fact that the animals we love are almost certain not to outlast us...Anyone looking for a solid example of that most endangered of species, the smart boulevard comedy, should consider adopting 'Sylvia' for an evening's entertainment." Full Review
"A measure of how terrific 'Sylvia' is at its best in the scene where Kate, jealous over Greg’s obsession with his pet, can’t help sharing her frustrations with a friend... What’s remarkable is how clear and rigorous the distinction between Julie White’s imitation of Sylvia and Annaleigh Ashford’s impersonation of Sylvia – a testament to the artistry of the director and to these great actresses." Full Review
"'Sylvia' is a drop-dead-funny play, but like all of Gurney's work, it also possesses an undercurrent of churning melancholy... Ashford and Broderick make such an endearing pair that they manage to rip our hearts out even as we laugh our heads off. If their close onstage relationship (and our reaction to it) proves one thing, it's that the bond between humans and their pets cannot be broken." Full Review
"Is there any comic performer on Broadway as gifted as Ashford? As she has proven time and again, she possesses rare gifts, all of which helps Daniel Sullivan’s revival rise to heights of true pleasure...Despite the play’s serious undertone, which is undercut by Broderick’s appealing if superficial performance, 'Sylvia' is a comedy, one with a great deal of laughs thanks to Gurney’s sharp dialogue, smart characterization, and the antics of the priceless Ashford as the sassy Sylvia." Full Review
"Ashford has the juiciest role, of course, and she plays it to hilt, without letting Sylvia chew the scenery (or Kate's red heels) entirely. The actress is a riot sliding on knee pads, wagging her legs around and rushing down the aisle to suggest hot pursuit of a male canine. But it's Ashford's enormously expressive face that draws us in most...Even the unenlightened -- that is, folks who don't already love dogs -- are bound to lose their hearts." Full Review
"What an enjoyable evening. I generally prefer a dark and difficult drama, but what a breath of fresh air my time at 'Sylvia' was. The cast and team manage to utilize serious ideas in a charming way. I left feeling warmed at their jovial portrayal of Greg's mid-life crisis. There is some profanity, and some symbolic analogies about problems in relationships; with this superb cast it gives the show a bit of depth." Full Review
"The plot of A. R. Gurney's reed-thin play goes into repeat mode after a half-hour, but Ashford, with the inventive help of director Daniel Sullivan, provides major laughs for the evening's entire two hours." Full Review
"Broderick, perkier than he’s been lately, gets crucial voltage from Ashford and White, both endlessly inventive comedians. Ashford has the showier role, dashing about in fanciful doggy couture and keeping up a sassy stream-of-consciousness. She sniffs strangers’ crotches with impunity; she butt-scoots on the carpet; she swears viciously at cats. What a joy to see Ashford unleashed." Full Review
"If you are a dog person, you are likely to fall in love with 'Sylvia.' However, Daniel Sullivan's production of A.R. Gurney's 1995 play is so warm and bitingly funny, you'd have to be an absolute Grinch to resist its immense charms." Full Review
"In this slick, brassy revival by director Daniel Sullivan, 'Sylvia' is in the extremely capable hands of Annaleigh Ashford, an adroit physical comedienne...Perhaps Sullivan felt that Gurney's paper-thin play needed embellishing and so has Sella overact to the detriment of the small-scale joke at the play's center. But that isn't enough to derail this minor but entertaining comedy from one of our true living masters." Full Review
"Ultimately, 'Sylvia' is a hilarious, screwball play with energetic performances. The costumes, set designs, and acting are all on point, crafting a memorable Broadway experience. Director Daniel J. Sullivan has brought A.R. Gurney’s 'Sylvia' to Broadway with colorful fun." Full Review
"Whether you love tiny little dogs that you can carry in your purse or the really big kind that scares everyone away, you will love 'Sylvia'... Among the many laughs I had, I also cried. But, I won’t spoil that for you. Just be sure to stay when the ‘run the credits.’ You’ll be happy you did. " Full Review
"Ashford does a remarkable job combining animalistic qualities and their humanistic counterparts. If dogs could talk, Ashford would be barking up the right tree. A large part of that is Gurney’s writing. His script is worded so well that the brute honesty comes off light-hearted and funny, aside from the few scenes where seriousness matters. In those, the words are so striking that they take a second to sink in before you realize how strong they are." Full Review
"The shrewdest thing about this Broadway revival of 'Sylvia' was the decision not to update the comedy to the present day, when it would probably be stoned to death by feminists. Not because the title character, a dog, is played by a woman, but because the villain of the piece is the wife of the dog’s besotted owner. If you can put such thoughts out of your head, it’s a perfectly charming show." Full Review
"'Sylvia' is one of the very best small-cast comedies of the past quarter-century, and this revival, directed by Daniel Sullivan, is so funny that I can’t see how it could fail to ring the box-office gong... Mr. Sullivan’s production may not get everything there is to be gotten out of 'Sylvia,' but it’s totally successful on its own broad-brush terms. It’s been a long time since I heard a matinee audience laugh as hard. I laughed, too—and so will you." Full Review
"'Sylvia' is a fanciful but slight dessert sort of a play, so have yourself a satisfying meal before ordering it up. It’s light and funny and easily digestible, so have a go. And then there’s Ms. Annaleigh Ashford, who is sort of the whipped cream on top making it all a real and rare treat." Full Review
"A wonderful revival... Hardly a ménage-a-trois in the conventional sense, Gurney invests this unconventional love story with plenty of humorous dog-eared incidents and dialogue. Necessarily intrusive, but laugh-getting and certainly scene-stealing is the triple role-playing by Robert Sella. All four actors have been put through their paws and paces with a controlling leash by director Daniel Sullivan." Full Review
"The fragile, two-act darling would have more impact at a lean 90 minutes, but not if we have to miss a bit of wisdom or knowing manipulation from this 'Sylvia'... If only Daniel Sullivan, best known for staging sensitive and serious dramas, did not crush the charm by having Robert Sella overplay the supposed hilarity of four increasingly obnoxious minor characters." Full Review
"My initial suspicions about this play being demeaning to women — a young cute 20-something has to get on the ground and pretend to be a dog for her male master? why couldn’t it be a male dog? — proved less complicated than I feared. The fact that Sylvia is female is directly addressed between Matthew Broderick’s character and a fellow dog owner in the park. Bottom line: this is a very funny comedy and if you love dogs, you’ll love 'Sylvia.'" Full Review
"The source of most of the show's humor comes from the fact that we have a human playing the dog, and in taking full advantage of the comic potential, Ashford certainly doesn't disappoint. The production is worth the trip for Ashford's antics alone. The play, and the production, are certainly diverting...I experienced quite a few laughs of recognition at all the kooky canine shenanigans. But other than that, there's really not much to the play." Full Review
"'Sylvia' is A.R. Gurney's most obvious (and probably only) crowd-pleaser...Whenever Ashford barks—'hey hey hey hey!'—it could be love, hate, anger, affection or irritation, and Ashford varies her tone and timbre to suit the occasion. The actress's showiness is out of necessity since it's a show-offy role, but Ashford smartly underplays as much as possible, and it's to her credit that she makes Sylvia (pooch and play) funnier and more affecting than it has any right to be." Full Review
See it if You love dogs. And Annaleigh Ashford. Robert Sella is AMAZING! You will laugh from start to finish.
Don't see it if Just see it. It is a FUN FUN Show. Even if you don't like dogs, you will LOVE Sylvia
See it if you enjoy engaging characters with real conflicts that drive an emotional and authentic plot. Enjoy the extended metaphors!
Don't see it if There is no reason not to see "Sylvia."
See it if ...you like to laugh and love good acting. Anna leith Ashford is amazing and oddly convincing as a dog, the rest of the cast is also great.
Don't see it if ...you are not willing to stretch your imagination to believe in a dog who is not wearing a dog costume and who speaks with her owners.
See it if You have a dog, love a dog, or want a dog. This show is a love letter to dog lovers and Matthew Broderick is at his finest.
Don't see it if You're a cat person. If you think Annaleigh Ashford on a leash (as a dog) is anti-feminist. You are hoping to see a remake of The Producers.
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