|Vanya & Masha|
|Sonia, as Maggie Smith (Ms. Nielsen)|
Masha (a sort of bemused, befuddled, bully-ish but ultimately empathetic Arkadina) has been married several times, remains a successful movie actress, but has come to visit this time - along with a new "romantic" male bauble in tow, a young hunk named Spike - to apprise Vanya and Sonia of the fact that she intends to sell the family home because, she insists, she no longer has the spare cash to keep it, and the two of them, afloat. In order to distract them all from the bad news and the possible displacement from their long-time home, Masha has gotten them all invited to a nearby costume party where she will "play the lead" character in her Snow White costume and the rest of them will be second or third or lesser fiddles. Only Sonia demurs and refuses to cooperate ... which leads to her purchasing her own costume locally and going to the party as a Maggie Smith clone, an "imitation" in dress, voice & all. And this decision - a small but emphatic rebellion - metamorphoses into a wonderful monologue and wonderfully funny gag, resulting in a rich display full of Ms. Nielsen's bravado a la the (legendary) Maggie Smith, and providing an imitative set piece that simply breaks up the theater audience for the next few minutes.
And Spike, for reasons you will find out if you decide to purchase a ticket to Vanya & Sonia et al., will be cast out by Masha ... and the family home will NOT be sold. Would that the characters in a (typical) Chekhovian drama ended up so hopeful, so stable ... so well!
Christopher Durang's Vanya & Sonia & Masha & Spike is suffused, in various spots, with Chekhovian pain & angst, but it is also full of mild intrigue and, above all, fun!
|Chef Yu - Main Floor|