Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (review)

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (review)
Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (review)
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THE PLAY: Three siblings are named after Checkov characters, which drives parallel references to his plays. Two still live at home in idiosyncratic seclusion, until the third (a successful actor) drops in to stir things up.

 

THE PRODUCTION: The 3 leads (Debra Wagoner, Joe Pabst, Susan Sanford) make up a triumvirate of Richmond’s finest comic talent. They’re perfectly cast for their characters with expert timing and solid delivery, landing every punch line and generating lots of laffs. Toss in Richmond newcomer David Pope, who delightfully embodies his character’s innocent narcissism and spectacular physique. Director John Moon has kept the pacing crisp and mined every opportunity for amusement. Unfortunately, playwright Christoper Durang’s 2nd act starts to run off the rails with an interminable rant and ultimately fails to deliver on the first act’s promise of dysfunctional wackiness with a disappointingly conventional outcome. The technical elements are all first rate.

 

THE POINT: Even though the play doesn’t live up to its absurdist promise, the production features beautifully-honed comic performances.

 

4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

 

At Virginia Rep thru 5/17

 

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