Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Uncle Vanya

"Uncle Vanya" at Classic Stage Company, January 22, 2009

(photo: Joan Marcus)

Chekhov remains ever present in the NY theatre, with this revival following closely on the heels of "The Seagull" on Broadway, and "The Cherry Orchard" coming to BAM.

First observation: There's a lot of set crammed by Santo Loquasto into CSC's thrust stage, but he certainly has captured the feeling of rural Russia.

Denis O'Hare's Vanya comes across pretty well in spite of (because of?) his usual manic shtick. Peter Sarsgaard fares better in this bit of Chekhov than in the last ("Seagull") but not by much. Maggie Gyllenhaal, long and languid, gives a lovely and effortless performance.

It's Mamie Gummer who really gives the knockout performance of the evening as Sofya, twisting in pain over unrequited love for the doctor.

Carol Rocamora's translation avoids most of the anachronism I felt in the recent "Hedda Gabler" at Roundabout. Direct Austin Pendleton did find ways to muddy things up from time to time, most notably playing one scene onstage and another offstage concurrently.

No comments: