The Adventure Continues

TT in the Blue Mountains and Sheldy in New York.

Culture Shock.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Vanya & Sonya & Masha & Spike

A new play by Christopher Durang has arrived at Lincoln Centre via the McCarter Theatre in Princeton, NJ starring Durang regulars Sigourney Weaver, David Hyde Pierce and Kristine Nielson.
Nielsen and Hyde Pierce play Sonya and Vanya who have lived for 30 years in the lovely Bucks County farmhouse they inherited from their parents, along with the embarrassing names that caused them grief in the schoolyard. They have lived stagnant lives while their actress sister Sonia has become a movie star in a series of movies called "Sexy Killer".

Their clairvoyant cleaning lady Cassandra (Shalita Grant) foresees impending disaster when Sonia arrives to visit with her new toyboy Spike (Billy Magnussen).
Sonia has decided to sell the house which causes great upheaval, further complicated by the appearance of a beautiful and ethereal young aspiring actress next door named Nina (Genevieve Angelson).
The play and a couple of performances were more cartoonish than I was expecting, with a surprising number of jokes about pop culture including a long plot point concerning Maggie Smith's performance in the film of "California Suite". The second act contains two showpiece monologues, a heartrending phone call by Kristine Nielsen and a furious rant by Hyde Pierce about the breakdown of society due to twitter and texting and cable tv. Not long after the actor exited to tumultuous applause for this speech I was astounded to see a young man in the front row pull out his phone and begin texting while the play was still in progress. Unbelievable.
Young Mr. Magnussen is a talent to watch, apart from the obvious reasons. His expertly funny performance earned him applause on almost every exit, quite an accomplishment in such experienced company.

No comments:

Post a Comment