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June 2006

Release Date: June 15, 2006

Dinner Theater Comedy is a Real Dog

When a husband desires to bring a new female into the relationship with his wife, it exacerbates the mid-life neuroses of the empty-nesters in Angelo State University’s production of the canine comedy “Sylvia.”

Even if the new female is a dog, it disrupts the equilibrium between man and wife and leads to hilarious situations as the new household addition becomes a part of the family.

The story follows Greg and Kate as they move from their suburban environs back into the city after 22 years of child-raising. With their kids grown, the couple hopes to renew their relationship among the towering buildings and bustling streets of Manhattan.

The play will take the stage at 8 p.m. Thursday, June 22-Saturday, June 24, and Thursday, June 29-Saturday, July 1, with dinner served at 7 p.m. and doors opening at 6:45 p.m.. There will also be a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday, June 25, with lunch served at 1 p.m. and doors opening at 12:45 p.m.

All shows will be in the Modular Theatre, in the Carr Education-Fine Arts Building, 2602 Dena Drive.

As the couple moves to the Big Apple, their careers begin to take different paths. Greg’s job as a financial trader is winding down, while Kate’s career as an English teacher is beginning to offer her new opportunities.

The strain on their relationship heightens immensely when Greg brings home a dog he found in the park – a lab/poodle mix identified only by the name “Sylvia” on her name tag. Sylvia moves in, and she immediately becomes a bone of contention between Greg and Kate.

Sylvia rivals Kate for Greg’s attention, and the arrival of a dog in their apartment flips their social life upside-down.

“Sylvia ends up being a threat, a rival in Kate’s mind,” said theater professor Bill Doll, who is directing the play. “Kate’s life is complicated because of the dog – it intrudes with her social life that she’s worked hard to achieve.”

While Greg and Kate bicker over the new member of their household, audience members get a look inside Sylvia’s mind as she often thinks out loud. The dog at times focuses on her base needs – eating, chasing cats, fearing the veterinarian and resisting grooming – but she also ruminates on the peculiarities of the human condition, as seen from a pet’s perspective.

“Sylvia will use her canine ways to get what she wants, or she’ll be human if she wants something that’s ‘human,’” said communications senior Jessi Timm, who is playing Sylvia for the second time in her career. “There’s a constant battle between wanting to be human or a dog.”

The dinner menu will consist of a salad bar, a choice of chicken cordon bleu or meatloaf, squash casserole, mashed potatoes and gravy, and cheesecake. Drink options will be water, iced tea and coffee.

Tickets for the show will be adults $20 for adults, $15 for season subscribers and non-ASU students, and $12.50 for ASU students. Tickets must be purchased in advance. For more information, or to make reservations, contact Arts@ASU at 942-2146.

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