DO NOT MISS THIS SHOW — especially if you remember the 1950’s… That helps, and also having at least an acquaintance with the introspection and frustration characteristic of Chekhov plays — so you can appreciate how Durang frosts the bitter Chekhovian cupcake with a tasty layer of humor and absurdity so we can gobble it up with pleasure. This is a play that can entertain audience members of any age, but especially us Boomers.
We are welcomed by an outstanding set, beautifully lit to create times of day, by the talented Tim Fox (with heavy duty help from Leroy Cupp and Bob Nees.) The endearing, depressed, wary, angry, defensive siblings, Vanya (Doak Bloss) and Sonia (Gini Larson) are visited by their hilarious soothsayer of a cleaning lady, Cassandra (Colleen Bethea) who brings dire warnings along with her dustpan and voodoo doll. Movie star sister Masha (Tanya Canaday Burnham) sweeps in with her “boy toy” Spike (Devin Faught.) Add the young pretty Nina (Kylie Bisel) and let the games begin.
Tanya has the perfect blend of glamour and age to be both believable and inappropriate as seducer of young Spike. She is overbearing and self-centered, but with a vulnerability that humanizes her. Devin (Spike) has that annoying sass of youth and quite flauntable body. Jealousy erupts when young Kylie (Nina) appears; she also has a childlike optimism and willingness to listen and learn that makes her a better ambassador of the next generation than hunky Spike. It is wonderful fun to see Colleen (Cassandra) let out all the stops with her unique blend of household help and voodoo/soothsayer services.
Doak and Gini were just wonderful as the beleaguered siblings, coping with their regrets and scrounging for hope and meaning. Doak’s monologue rant is a tour de force that could be a show on it’s own.
Kudos to director Mary Job for masterfully taking over this show for the dear, departed-too-soon director Addiann Hinds. I believe Addi would approve of this production.
Vanya & Sonia & Masha & Spike continues through March 29.
481-5700 ($15/$12) 8pm & 2pm Sundays
with Bargain Thursday at 7pm $10/$8