SANTA MONICA—Earlier this year, Tanna Frederick was a huge hit with audiences and critics in the enormously popular comedy “Sylvia,” when it was presented at Sierra Madre Playhouse. Now, she brings her starring performance to the Westside, where the play has been given a different directorial perspective by its new award-winning director, Gary Imhoff; and a new look from its award-winning production designer Joel Daavid.
In this 1995 comedy by A.R. Gurney (“Love Letters,” “The Dining Room”), Greg and Kate are empty nesters in the big city. On a walk in the park, Greg is adopted by Sylvia, a bouncy, frisky poodle mix. But Kate comes to feel that she is losing Greg to his adoring new best friend who just loves to be petted, scratched and talked to. This imaginative twist on Greg’s midlife crisis leads to lots of laughs and some thoughtful insights into the nature of love, marriage, jealousy and dogs.
Tanna Frederick stars as Sylvia. She has also starred in several films including “Hollywood Dreams,” "Irene in Time,” “Queen of the Lot” and the upcoming “Just 45 Minutes From Broadway,” which based on the play by Henry Jaglom that concluded an 11-month run at Edgemar Center in 2010. Her other stage credits include Jaglom's “Always”¦.But Not Forever” (which also played at Edgemar), N. Richard Nash’s “Echoes,” Levy Lee Simon’s “Toussaint: For The Love Of Freedom,” Claire Chafee's “Why We Have A Body,” Jean Genet's “The Maids” and more. Tanna was awarded the 2009 Maverick Award by the Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Festival. Also engaged in philanthropic pursuits, she is co-founder of Project Save Our Surf and founder of the Iowa Independent Film Festival, now in its fifth year.
Stephen Howard plays Greg and Cathy Arden portrays Kate. Tom Ayers plays the three other characters. Gary Imhoff’s other directing credits include the plays “Just 45 Minutes From Broadway,” “Always”¦.But Not Forever,” “The Devil and Daniel Webster” and “The Dearly Departed,” as well as the upcoming films “Break,” “Scottish Dreams” and “Wildflower.” Also an actor, he portrayed Charlie Brown in the original production of “Snoopy!” starred in “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” (L.A. and N.Y.), “Assassins” (West Coast Premiere), often appeared in films and frequently in television episodes of “Falcon Crest” and “Eight Is Enough.”
This is the third collaboration between director Gary Imhoff and actor Tanna Frederick, the previous two being last year’s hugely successful 11-month run of “Just 45 Minutes From Broadway” and 2007’s successful run of “Always”¦.But Not Forever.”
WHAT: “Sylvia.” A comedy
WHO: Written by A.R. Gurney. Directed by Gary Imhoff. Produced by Alexandra Guarnieri. Presented by Edgemar Center for the Arts
WHERE: Edgemar Center for the Arts, on the Main Stage, 2437 Main St., Santa Monica, CA 90405. Parking is available (fee charged) in an onsite structure, and metered parking is available in nearby Lot 1, across the street from Peet’s Coffee.
WHEN: Now through December 4, 2011. Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m., Sunday at 5 p.m. No performances on November 25, 26 and 27 (Thanksgiving weekend)
ADMISSION: $34.99. A limited number of seats at each performance will be available at a discounted price of $25. (Use promo code “Sylvia.”)