SYLVIA Returns to Avenue Theater Tomorrow

One of the Avenue Theater's most popular shows ever, "Sylvia," is returning for a special limited engagement this August and September.

Greg brings home a dog he found in the park-or that has found him-bearing only the name "Sylvia" on her name tag. She offers Greg an escape from the frustrations of his job and the unknowns of middle age.

To wife Kate, Sylvia becomes a rival for affection.

The production, which ran for more than two years at both the old and the new Avenue Theater spaces, will star two members of the original cast - Amie MacKenzie in the title role as the super feisty canine, and John Ashton as Greg, the reserved corporate executive who adopts her.

They will be joined by veterans Abby Apple-Boes as Greg's very patient if not-so-understanding wife Kate, and Tupper Cullum in a three-character tour de force as a macho dog owner, a matronly friend of the family and a marriage counselor of deliberately ambiguous gender.

"We are very proud and excited that 'Sylvia' is returning home," said Bob Wells, Avenue artistic director. "Everybody's always asking us, 'When are you going to bring "Sylvia" back?' And now we are - this summer for one month only."

In 1999, the Avenue became the first non-regional theater to bring "Sylvia" to Denver audiences. The show was a huge hit, running for more than a year at the old Avenue Theater at 17th and Vine, then again in 2003, when it opened the new Avenue Theater up the street at 17th and Pennsylvania. (On opening night at the new Avenue, Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper made a surprise guest appearance, and ad-libbed with the characters in one scene.) Altogether, "Sylvia" ran for almost three years at both venues.

Since then, McKenzie's work has included appearances in the popular Denver Center hit, "For Girls Only," and Ashton's performances have included "The Seafarer" and Boulder Ensemble's "Seminar." He also appeared with Bryan Cranston in an episode of AMC-TV's "Breaking Bad."

Cullum's recent work includes appearances as Ray Bud in the comedy hit "Dearly Departed" and in the Aurora Fox's "The Rainmaker." He also appeared a few years ago in the Littleton Town Hall production of "Sylvia." Apple-Boes was nominated for a Colorado Theatre Guild Henry Award for her performance as Barbara in "August: Osage County" in Boulder.

"Sylvia" previews August 14, and opens August 15, showing Fridays and Saturdays and some Thursdays and Sundays through September 6, at the Avenue Theater, 417 E. 17th Ave., in Denver. Reservations can be made at 303-321-5925, and online at

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