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Saturday, November 14, 2015

"Sylvia" @ Clackamas Community College

Molly Bowman. Remember that name. Her performance as Sylvia the dog in Clackamas Community College's current production of "Sylvia" is of the kind that makes a viewer know she has a bright future. Suffice it to say, she jumps in with all four feet. In fact, when Sylvia is revealed in a portrait at the end of the show, I was somewhat disappointed because I had pictured a much bigger animal. It's a role that's full of surprises. There's this scene which at first seems obligatory, a dog's encounter with a cat, but the scene is so unexpectedly, unrelentingly profane that it actually manages to become shocking, especially if one is sitting in the front row, as I was. There is quite a bit of "other woman" symbolism  in "Sylvia" which was at times humorous, but everything, everything  is overshadowed by Ms. Bowman's fully committed performance. There are times when one thinks, "My God, she must feel so silly!" And yet, she holds it together somehow. To keep from laughing must be a Herculean feat. It also must be noted that it is the only real comedy playing on area stages at the moment. A few are billed as such, but they have elements which color them as somewhat melancholy. Go to "Sylvia" and enjoy pure laughter.

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