From the Transylvania Times, Brevard, NC, Monday, October 30, 2006
All-Star Cast Delivers The Goods
by William Mashburn
Brevard Little Theatre's first play of the season, Sylvia, certainly did not
disappoint. Sylvia is a fantasy/comedy about the relationship between a man and
his newly-acquired dog, named Sylvia. The play, by A. R. Gurney, was directed
by Daisy Talley and produced by Darien Aiken.
The all-star cast consisted of three BLT veterans: Joe Narsavage, Celeste
Thorington and Kathleen Moore, and two very talented and professional
newcomers to BLT, Shelly Porter and Matthew Hoxit.
Joe Narsavage reprised the role of Greg, the husband and dog-lover, which he
performed several seasons ago in the Connestee Amateur Theater Society's
(CATS) production of Sylvia. Narsavage gave a very sensitive and passionate
(about Sylvia) portrayal of Greg.
Greg, who appears to be having a mid-life crisis, really falls head-over-heels for
Sylvia, much to the consternation of his dog-hating wife Kate, shrewdly played by
Celeste Thorington. Kate is very much into her career as a teacher of English,
Shakespeare and the like with inner-city school kids, and finds Sylvia an
unwanted intrusion into her life and a threat to her relationship with Greg.
Shelly Porter played Sylvia as a very seductive, sexy, devoted, assertive and
hot-to-trot dog who has Greg wrapped around her little paw. Her strong
characterization and performance were outstanding, and she was in command of
the role at all times.
Kathleen Moore, who directed the prize-winning BLT play, The Price, by Arthur
Miller, was wonderful as the alcoholic Phyllis, who provides Kate with "a
shoulder to cry on" when Kate is feeling abandoned and betrayed.
The big surprise of the evening was Matthew Hoxit's performance as the macho
and rough-hewn Tom, another dog owner-lover whom Greg meets in the park
when he takes Sylvia for a walk. Hoxit's timing, body actions, facial expressions,
strong voice and precise enunciation were all very remarkable. He was
constantly in motion. Sometimes young actors will speak too rapidly and/or too
softly, slur their words or otherwise mumble, but not so with Hoxit. His
attention-getting performance was first-rate in every respect.
Hoxit had double duty as the psychotic shrink, Leslie, with whom Kate contracts
to provide marriage counseling to her and Greg. Hoxit was an absolute hoot in
In the end, there is a reconciliation among Greg, Kate and Sylvia and, of course,
much applause for a job well done.