P2K launches season with quirky comedy

Michele VanFossen plays “Sylvia,” the stray dog that captures the heart of Judd Vermillion’s “Greg” in this rehearsal photo from the quirky comedy “Sylvia,” set to open Jan. 31 in the VK Garage Theater.

Hill Country dog lovers will completely “get” the comedy that opens Playhouse 2000’s Season 2020 this Friday.

Written by award-winning playwright A.R. Gurney, “Sylvia” tells a somewhat quirky tale of a man whose “midlife crisis” is not a sports car or a flirtation, but the adoption of a stray dog who captures his heart.

In a unique twist, the role of the dog – the title character, “Sylvia” – is portrayed by an actress, allowing the audience to understand her thoughts and actions so that everyone can follow Sylvia’s progress from outcast to full-fledged family member, despite the wife’s initial objections.

The central focus of the show is Michele VanFossen’s portrayal of “Sylvia,” the mutt who “adopts” “Greg,” played by Judd Vermillion, a new resident of Manhattan with too much job stress and too little control over his life.

Sylvia’s arrival in Greg’s home is an unwelcome surprise for “Kate,” his wife, played by Barbara French.  The complications of dog ownership make her reluctant to make the commitment, but Greg persuades her to give the potential new family member a chance.

Complications include a warning from dog-park acquaintance “Tom,” played by Justin Radkiewicz, a domestic scene with Kate’s friend “Phyllis” played by Louise Vermillion, and a trip to marriage counselor “Leslie” played by Amy Judin Best.

Whether Sylvia can ever become an accepted member of the family is an open question right to the end in this comedy that celebrates one man’s love for both wife and companion.

Playhouse 2000 is proud to support the new non-profit organization “Kerrville Pets Alive!” with this production.  KPA will be on hand to share information on savings the lives of cats and dogs in Kerr County, and showing off their new Mobile Adoption Center.  Guests are encouraged to support KPA’s work by bringing a small bag of dog or cat food to the theater on show nights.

“Sylvia” begins performances on Jan. 31 in the VK Garage Theater, and continues through Valentine’s Day to Feb. 16.  Performances times are Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., with two matinee performances on Sundays Feb. 9 and Feb. 16 at 2:30 p.m.  All tickets are just $22, general admission.

Tickets can be purchased at The Cailloux Theater Box Office, in person from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday through Friday, or 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays, or by phone at 896-9393, or – space permitting – at the door. 

Tickets can also be purchased at the Kerrville Visitor’s Center on Sidney Baker during their regular hours, and are available 24/7 online at www.Playhouse2000.com – note that online orders will incur additional convenience charges.

The VK Garage Theater is part of the Kathleen C. Cailloux City Center for the Performing Arts, and is located at 305 Washington St. at Main in downtown Kerrville, where parking is free and pre-show dinner and after-show drinks are both within walking distance.

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