Well the Missus and I trundled down to the Huntington Theatre last night to catch its new production of Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike and, say, it was swell . . . to some degree.
The play is what in earlier times might have been called a zany romp – a mashup of Anton Checkov, Greek mythology, classic fairy tales, and slapstick comedy. (You’ll find some thumbnail sketches of the characters here.)
TheHuntington’s website describes the play this way:
In this wickedly wonderful Chekhovian mashup from master of comedy Christopher Durang (Betty’s Summer Vacation), Vanya and Sonia’s quiet, bucolic life is hilariously upended when their glamorous movie star sister arrives for the weekend with her brawny boy toy in tow. A Tony Award-winning Broadway sensation, this rollicking and touching new comedy pays loving homage to Chekhov’s classic themes of loss and longing.
At times perhaps too rollicking for its own good: There was enough scenery-chewing that the cast had to floss during intermission. (To be fair, all the actors – Candy Buckley, Marcia DeBonis, Tyler Lansing Weaks, Allison Layman, Martin Moran, and Haneefa Wood – had more bright spots than otherwise.)
Anyway, here’s Huntington artistic director Peter DuBois talking about the production, which is directed by Jessica Stone as sort of a tribute to the late Nicholas Martin, the former Huntington artistic director who originally produced the play on Broadway.
Coincidentally, this appeared in today’s Boston Globe:
PICK OF THE DAY
Chekhov, two ways
An interpretive performance of Anton Chekhov’s “Uncle Vanya,” the 1994 film “Vanya on 42nd St.” is a tribute to the Russian writer’s work, as well as the creative process itself. The special screening of the Louis Malle-directed film — which stars Wallace Shawn and Julianne Moore — is followed by a conversation with guests from the Huntington Theatre Company’s production of the Tony Award-winning play “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” (above), who will discuss the different approaches to Chekhov’s classic themes of loss and longing. Jan. 5 at 7 p.m. Tickets: $10.25 adults; $8.25 seniors and children.
Coolidge Corner Theatre, 290 Harvard St., Brookline. 617-734-2501. www.coolidge.org
We just thought you might want to know.
Sounds like an actor’s nightmare.
They seemed to have fun.