Reviewed by David Kashimba
Photo by Evan Johnson

Pacific Alliance Stage Company, in the park rich environment of Rohnert Park, has once again gone to the dogs with its current production. Back by popular demand Sylvia by A.R. Gurney is an innovative play about a man, Greg (Stephen Klum) and his dog Sylvia (Alexandra Matthew). Greg is married to Kate (Adrienne Krug) and when he brings home a stray dog to their Manhattan apartment, Kate is not happy.

They’ve been married for over twenty years and all their children are grown and out of the house. Kate is embarking on a new career teaching Shakespeare to inner city kids so the last thing she wants is a dog. Greg, on the other hand, has grown tired of his old job and a dog seems like just the thing to raise his spirits. He loves taking Sylvia on walks and meeting other dog owners, but there’s more to it than that. Sylvia stirs something primal in him. She reconnects him with his “caveman gene,” giving him a renewed vitality in life. But Sylvia, in addition to being a bother, also makes the very civilized Kate jealous. In her sarcasm she feels that, “civilization collapses while we wait for Sylvia.”

The dramatic tension between husband and wife, man and woman, primal forces and civilization gives a synergy to this drama enhancing the comic elements of clashing opposites while illuminating the many reasons why most people love dogs.

For tickets or more information about this heart-warming comedy call (707) 588-3400.

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