Thursday, November 15, 2012

theatre review VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE, Off Broadway, November 12

Christopher Durang's latest play Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike just opened Off Broadway a few days ago and we caught a late preview of the show this past Sunday.  This was actually our second time seeing the show since we saw it's premiere at the McCarter theatre in September (review here.)

While the show hasn't changed since seeing it at the McCarter, the show plays much better at the Mitzi Newhouse Theatre then it did at McCarter.  And while the theatre at the McCarter is very intimate, the Newhouse is even more so, with the expansive set filling up the space and the action seemingly taking place just inches in front of you.  The action is so close to you that with the show set on the back porch of a house in the country of Bucks County, PA, audience members in the front row of the theatre had the "grass" of the house's backyard underneath their feet.

Kristine Nielsen, Sigourney Weaver and David Hyde Piece,
The show is just as funny as it was at the McCarter and the trio of leads is even more well tuned to their parts.  Kristine Nielsen still steals the show out from her A list co-stars Sigourney Weaver and David Hyde Piece, but Weaver and Pierce get plenty of moments to shine throughout the piece. Nielsen's insanely comical impression of Maggie Smith and her heart breaking performance during the phone call she gets in the second act are just two of the reasons to see this show.

Durang has crafted his most accessible play and like I said before, one that I think will have a healthy life after it's New York run.  I wouldn't be surprised with this starry cast if there is a movement to move the show to Broadway.  However, if that move were to happen the experience wouldn't be as good as it is now with the intimacy of the Newhouse Theatre.

Nothing much more to add from what I wrote in my previous review except to say that if you're looking for a night out where you will laugh a lot don't miss Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike playing at Lincoln Center's Mitzi Newhouse Theatre currently running through January 13th.

Official Show Site

Excerpts from the show:

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