VIDEO: Becoming SYLVIA, An Inside Look At Annaleigh Ashford's Physicality Coachings
Once an actor's career grows beyond the children's theatre stage the opportunities to play animals sharply decrease. But thanks to playwright A.R. Gurney, young women of the stage have a chance to realistically portray a furry friend in his relationship comedy, SYLVIA, now running through Sunday, January 3rd at the Cort Theatre.
Fresh off her Tony win for playing the inept, but dedicated dance student of YOU CAN'T TAKE IT WITH YOU, Ashford, as prescribed in the script, gets little assistance from costuming to realistically play the lost pooch who gets adopted by Matthew Broderick's Greg, putting a strain on his marriage to Kate, played by Julie White.
In an NBC report (scroll down for the video), Ashford and her physicality coach, Nathan Peck, demonstrate how they worked together to create movements for the title character that are both realistic and funny.Directed by Tony Award-winner Daniel Sullivan (Proof), SYLVIA stars two-time Tony-winner Matthew Broderick (It's Only a Play, Nice Work If You Can Get It, The Producers, How to Succeed . . ., Brighton Beach Memoirs) as Greg, 2015 Tony-winner Annaleigh Ashford (You Can't Take It With You, Tony-nominee for Kinky Boots, Hair) as Sylvia, Tony Award winner Julie White (The Little Dog Laughed, 2015 Tony-nominee for Airline Highway, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike) as Kate, and Drama Desk Award winner Robert Sella (Stuff Happens, Sleepy Hollow, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang) as Tom/Phyllis/Leslie. Funny and heartwarming, SYLVIA is about what happens when a smart, sassy, captivating canine befriends a New Yorker in Central Park and changes his life - and his wife's life - forever. This wonderful look into the complexities of love and commitment asks what does it truly mean to be devoted to your partner . . . and how do you choose between the love of your life and man's best friend? Presented by Jeffrey Richards, Jerry Frankel, and Daryl Roth, SYLVIA has scenic design by Tony Award-nomineeDavid Rockwell (You Can't Take It With You, On the Twentieth Century), costume design by Academy Award-winnerAnn Roth (The English Patient), lighting design by Tony Award-nominee Japhy Weideman (The Visit, Airline Highway), sound design by Peter Fitzgerald (All the Way, Movin' Out), and music by Greg Pliska. SYLVIA has wig and makeup design by Campbell Young Associates. James Fitzsimmons is the Production Stage Manager. Casting by Telsey + Company/William Cantler, CSA.