Hot off of its sold-out run at Lincoln Center, Christopher Durang’s Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike opened on Broadway at the Golden Theatre Thursday night. The 17-week strictly limited engagement began performances on Tuesday, March 5, 2013.
Directed by Nicholas Martin and featuring the entire original company, which includes Sigourney Weaver, David Hyde Pierce, Kristine Nielsen, Genevieve Angelson, Shalita Grant, and Billy Magnussen, the kooky new Chekhovian comedy is said to be even better this time around.
The play borrows some on Anton Chekov’s most time-tested themes to tell a funny and surprisingly affecting modern-day romp. Vanya (Pierce) and Sonia (Nielsen) have never left the confines of their childhood home, a farmhouse in Bucks County, PA, while Masha (Weaver), Vanya’s has traveled the world as a famous movie actress. A surprise visit to Bucks County from Masha and her 20-something boy toy, Spike (Magnussen), throws the normally quiet household int0 utter upheaval as its residents and visitors get swept up in an intoxicating mixture of lust, rivalry, regret, and the sudden possibility of escape.
Critics call the comedy, which was well received off Broadway, noticeably better in its Broadway incarnation. Formerly criticized as the weak link, Sigourney Weaver has grown more nuanced and funnier. All the actors are in perfect sync with each other and their roles.
Here’s the review round-up: