BWW Review: SYLVIA at Florida Repertory Theatre is Doggone Delightful!

BWW Review: SYLVIA at Florida Repertory Theatre is Doggone Delightful!

by Emily Yorgey | Oct. 28, 2017

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If you have ever wondered what your dog would say if they could talk, SYLVIA is absolutely the show for you. And even if you don’t have a dog or other kind of pet, I guarantee you’ll still appreciate the humor, wit, and charm of Florida Rep’s production of SYLVIA.

I was incredibly impressed with Michelle Damato, who played the title role of Sylvia. It was quite remarkable to see how well she was able to act like a dog, yet still have a very blunt, sarcastic, and somewhat witty dialogue throughout the show. Her mannerisms were very precise and dog-like, and I can’t imagine anyone else acting in that role as perfectly as she did. I can definitely see why Florida Rep had her return, after her original portrayal of Sylvia in 2011, to reprise this role.BWW Review: SYLVIA at Florida Repertory Theatre is Doggone Delightful!

Carrie Lund and John Ottavino, who played Kate and Greg, respectively, were also brilliant in this show. John Ottavino demonstrated Greg’s excitement about Sylvia wonderfully, while Carrie Lund displayed Kate’s hatred of Sylvia just as perfectly. Their acting skills made this show so interesting and realistic, and I really enjoyed how they were able to thoroughly showcase their character’s struggles.

Though the plot of the play does follow Greg and Kate’s emotional struggle in their marriage after Greg brings home a dog, Sylvia, there were still many humorous moments throughout the show. In addition to the abrasive, funny comments Sylvia often made, David Breitbarth’s character(s) had some shining moments of hilarity. BWW Review: SYLVIA at Florida Repertory Theatre is Doggone Delightful!

Breitbarth played three characters: Tom, Leslie, and Phyllis–and each character was funny for a different reason. I do have to say that my favorite of these was his final character, Leslie, who counseled Greg and Kate. Leslie offered some more heartfelt, insightful advice, which was then followed up by a moment that had the whole audience laughing. I won’t give too much away because I definitely don’t want to spoil the show for you, but this was a moment worth seeing, for sure. Breitbarth’s other two characters also had some great lines of dialogue, and I really appreciated how he was able to portray each of his characters so differently.

I definitely recommend seeing SYLVIA at Florida Rep if you’re looking for a fun, yet still quite emotional production. It was a realistic concept-the idea of “dogs are a man’s best friend” comes to mind–and I very much enjoyed seeing how the story played out. From the spectacular actors and their mannerisms, to the sometimes lighthearted, sometimes gritty dialogue, this show has something for everyone, whether you are an animal lover or not.

SYLVIA runs at Florida Rep’s Historic Arcade Theatre now through November 15. Performances are Tuesday-Thursday at 7PM, Friday-Saturday at 8PM, with matinees on Thursday, Sunday, and selected Saturdays at 2PM. To buy tickets, you can visit www.floridarep.org, call Florida Rep at 239-332-4488, or stop by the box office at 2268 Bay Street, Fort Myers, FL, 33901.