by Joyce Gordon and Adam Abrams
Two Views from the Sylvia has been a big hit at our box office, with its opening night performance selling out within a matter of days. The musical story about the Goldstein family, who built Vancouver’s iconic Sylvia Hotel, is opening next week. And so we have the stories of two women to share—one whose great aunt was “the” Sylvia herself, and the other who spent 35 years working with Sylvia’s family.
A chance conversation with Sylvia’s great niece, Marsha Ablowitz, was the spark that birthed the musical about Sylvia and the hotel. She’s shared her family’s story about the hotel’s 1912 origins and about Sylvia herself! For example, Marsha shared the story of how the young Sylvia learned to swim from Joe Fortes, Vancouver’s first official lifeguard. Marsha has remained involved with the production. The actors portraying Sylvia and Abraham, Advah Soudack and Adam Abrams, visited her at her home where she presented them with her collection of family photos and artifacts. One item from her collection—a monogrammed, silver hairbrush owned by Sylvia will be used in the show!
Another woman with a strong connection to the Sylvia is Huguette Gingras, who spent 35 loving years as the front desk clerk at the Sylvia Hotel. She never needed to travel because the whole world came to her! She has her own collection of stories about the Hotel’s guests, including Leonard Cohen, Johnny Depp, Cirque du Soleil and more. It will all be incorporated into the second play of the evening, “The Hotel Sylvia.”
Stop by for a piece of Vancouver history presented by Kol Halev Performance Society! Two Views from the Sylvia will be staged November 8-12 at Waterfront Theatre. Buy your tickets on our website. But be quick because tickets are selling fast!