a comic masterpiece
By A.R. Gurney
Greg is a man of middle age, a restless empty-nester, tired of his job in finance, looking for meaning in his life. Sylvia is an exuberant and beautiful lab/poodle mix, astray in Central Park, looking for a new home. When they meet, it is love at first sight. But his wife Kate, a busy rising star in the public school system, is looking forward to some independence now that the couple no longer has children to care for, and is less than thrilled by the clever and coquettish canine who jumps, slobbers, sits on her couch, and takes Greg’s attention away from his marriage. Wandering the streets of Manhattan with Sylvia by his side, Greg feels like he has connected to a deeper, primal, more natural side of the world. Sylvia supports these poetic musings, but can rarely focus on them for long, being more interested in flipping off the neighborhood cat, or flirting with Bowser at the dog park. Sylvia exerts such a charismatic pull that Kate’s friends are appalled, the marriage counselor advocates divorce and euthanasia, and even Greg’s new dog-owner friend warns him of the splintering effect a dog can have on the relationship between husband and wife. It is only when Greg is prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice that Kate is able to see Sylvia not as a threat, but as a new member of her family. A.R. Gurney’s Sylvia is a smart, silly, sophisticated, and occasionally salty comedy about relationships, nature, and growing older.