The New Yorker called Christopher Durang “one of the funniest dramatists alive.” Durang takes characters and themes from Russian playwright Anton Chekhov, pours them into a blender and mixes them up. The utterly hilarious and occasionally touching result is Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, which is set in present-day Bucks County, Penn. Vanya and his stepsister, Sonia, have lived their entire lives in their family’s farmhouse. While they stayed home to take care of their ailing parents, their sister, Masha, has been gallivanting around the world as a successful actress and movie star, leaving Vanya and Sonia to feel trapped and regretful. Their fortune-telling cleaning woman, Cassandra, keeps warning them about terrible things in the future, which include a sudden visit from Masha and her twenty-something boy toy Spike.
Here's more about the play’s titular characters:
Vanya – A gentle, gay man who has no job and little to occupy his time other than watching for a blue heron that visits a nearby pond, Vanya has regrets about his choices in life, but he seems resigned to his quiet existence at the family farmhouse. Side note: Durang has admitted that he very much identifies with the Vanya character and that this is who he might have been if he hadn’t been allowed to follow his choices and pursue a career in theatre after college.
Sonia – An insecure woman who likes to remind everyone that she was adopted, Sonia spends the majority of her time complaining about lost dreams and missed opportunities.
Masha – Vanya and Sonia’s glamorous, narcissistic, movie star sister who owns the home they live in, pays the bills and supports her siblings. Masha initially wanted to find fame on the stage, but instead she found it on the big screen in a “series of movies about a nymphomaniac, serial killer.”
Spike – Masha’s younger, self-absorbed lover, Spike is an aspiring actor who strips down to his underwear every chance he gets in order to show off his buff body. His biggest claim to fame is that he nearly landed a part in the sequel to Entourage, Entourage 2.
Join these four wacky main characters, along with their soothsayer/cleaning lady Cassandra and star-struck neighbor Nina, in the hilarious, life-affirming comedy about the power of family ties. Don’t miss the Tony Award-winning Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike on the Julianne Argyros Stage from Sept. 30-Oct. 21.
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