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Upstage Napa Valley

Upstage Napa Valley presents Sylvia starting Friday, May 10.

Upstage Napa Valley will present "Sylvia," by A.R. Gurney, a comedy about the role a stray rescue dog named Sylvia plays in igniting meaning and intimacy in the lives of Greg and Kate, a middle-aged couple pondering the opportunities left by their recently empty-nested home.

Directed by Sharie Renault. the play opens May 10, and continues through May 11 and 12; May 17, 18 and 19, and May 24, 25 and 26. Friday and Saturday shows begin at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday matinees at 5 p.m.

Tickets are $25 general, $15 for students, and $20 for groups.

All performances are held at Grace Episcopal Church’s Newton Hall, 1314 Spring Street, St Helena. For online tickets visit UpStageNapaValley.org or reserve at will-call by calling 707-341-3278.

In the play, Greg, a middle-aged day trader is played by Fred Ireland. He begins to question his career and discovers the unconditional love of man’s best friend in the park one day when playing hooky from work. Greg’s wife Kate, a junior high school English teacher in the inner-city schools — portrayed by Megan Whyte — rejects Greg’s notion to invite a dog into their New York apartment just as she is poised to take flight in her career.

Sylvia, the stray dog performed by Alexis Forni, recognizes her opportunity for a forever home with Greg and Kate, but does little to endear herself to the skeptical lady of the house.

Completing the cast are Jack Stuart, in the misogynous role of Tom, the dog park guy, who offers all kinds of comedic help to our hopeful new dog owner. Elizabeth Stokkebye plays Phyllis, the flamboyant socialite and friend of Kate, who is not amused by Sylvia; and Deborah Todd, plays Leslie, Greg and Kate’s psychiatrist, who counsels the couple with questionable advice.

Upstage Napa Valley is partnering with Jameson Animal Rescue Ranch, Wine Country Animal Lovers (WCAL) and We Care Animal Rescue, who will be sharing pictures of their adoptable pets. Bring a photo of your dog to Sylvia and post on the “We Love Dogs” bulletin board.

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