SHEFFIELD — Director Dennis Clark is known for capitalizing on his experiences in New York City and the many Broadway productions he has taken in.

He translates those experiences into unforgettable local shows — currently the Broadway hit, "Sylvia."

The local production will be showing tonight through Saturday and Oct. 10 and 11 at the Ritz Theatre.

Described as an "outside the box" production, Clark said the show will draw plenty of laughter while delivering charm with a message that resonates with audiences.

"Sylvia," written by A.R. Gurney, centers around Greg and Kate, a couple new to Manhattan after becoming empty-nesters.

As they navigate their new take on life as a couple, Greg brings home a dog he found in the park, with only the name "Sylvia" on her name tag. 

Greg's focus on his newfound friend creates rivalry from Kate for her husband's affection. 

With the marriage in jeopardy, a series of humorous and touching complications arise.

Sylvia the dog is also played by a human — actress Maggie Stewart, whom Clark describes as having wonderful charm and a great sense of abandon.

"She's someone who can walk out on stage and the audience falls in love," Clark said.

As for the premise of the play, Clark says it's wonderfully different.

"Something different for audiences is what I was going for as I'm working to give the greater Shoals audiences something different and new," Clark said. 

"With this play, what most people will see is this facet of their lives, the actual affect that animals have on our lives that we don't even realize. There are a lot of lighter moments in the show but in the end, you see how that animal affected these people."

The roles of Greg and Kate are played by Matt Upton and Jennifer Steen Kilpatrick, respectively.

"They'e the straight-forward characters," Clark said. "They stepped into these characters and just related naturally."

Actor Ethan Miller plays the roles of Tom, Phyllis and Leslie, and Clark heralds his comedic timing and versatility adding, "he takes a nugget of direction and runs with it which is a wonderful asset."

The show begins at 7:35 p.m. each night. General admission tickets are $15 for adults; $10 for students and are available at the door as well as by calling 256-383-0533 or online at ritztheatre.ticketleap.com. Tickets may also be purchased at the Tennessee Valley Museum of Art, Tuscumbia.

Volunteers from the Colbert nonprofit group Meows and Growls will be in the Encore Room before the show through Saturday's performance, accepting donations for the medical fund for shelter animals.

With a $10 donation or more, the donors names will be entered into drawings for restaurant gift cards. Winners will be announced at the end of each show.

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