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A CurtainUp Connecticut Review
She plays Sylvia, the title character in A.R. Gurney's hilarious play about a pooch who gets between a husband and wife. A recent graduate of Yale School of Drama, Sullivan bursts onto the stage with unabashed enthusiasm for playing the dog who steals the affections of owner Greg (John Procaccino) away from his wife, Kate, (Karen Ziemba).
Any production of this play is funny, thanks to Gurney's sharp and witty dialogue and his keen ability to enter the minds of owners and pet alike. Too often, however, it can become a showcase for the actress playing Sylvia. "Look, at me playing this cute part, or departing from the serious type of character I always play," you almost think you hear them saying, almost begging for recognition as Sylvia would ask for a biscuit. Not so with Sullivan, who is completely fetching as a very realistic dog who unconditionally loves her master, avoids confrontations with Kate who doesn't want a dog and who resents her husband's growing affection for the animal. Sullivan's Sylvia, also has a quite irrational and hysterical hatred for cats. This actress will be making her mark on a Broadway stage soon. Remember, you read it here first.
Long Wharf's Associate Artistic Director Eric Ting skillfully helms with great attention to detail (loved the leash tangle) which helps keep the show tight and fun. Ziemba gives Kate a nice balance of frigidity and humanity while Procaccino is perfect as the mid-life-crisis-driven Greg. Also entertaining is Jacob Ming-Trent who plays the multiple roles of Tom, a dog owner Greg befriends in the park, Phyllis, Kate's socialite friend and Leslie, the couple's gender-neutral shrink.
Handy sets by Frank J. Alberino transform the couple's Manhattan apartment into the park and into the therapist's office while costumes by Valerie M. Webster make Sylvia over from a combat-fatigued stray into a Purebred beauty. This Long Wharf production gets a "best in show"and is definitely a must-see of the Connecticut season.