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News Section: Arts and Entertainment

Asolo Opens 2013 Tony Award-Winning Comedy This Week

Published Tuesday, January 21, 2014 12:03 am

SARASOTA – The Chekhov-inspired 2013 Tony Award winner for Best Play, "Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike", opens at the Asolo Repertory Theatre this week. Written by Chris Durang, the play has been almost universally hailed as a work of comic genius. The New York Post calls it "Riotous! The kind of full-on comedy that’s rare on Broadway."

photo by Frank Atura

Named after Chekhov characters by their theater-loving, professor parents, middle-aged siblings Vanya and Sonia still live in their parents' upscale farmhouse in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. When their world-traveling movie star sister, Masha, makes a surprise visit with her sexy, 20-something boy toy, Spike, chaos rapidly ensues.

The weekend reunion is compounded by sibling rivalry, envy and jealousy. While the family's prophetic cleaning lady, Cassandra, warns of the foreboding events to come, this tornado of mayhem and fun simply cannot be stopped.

"Chris Durang’s new play is quite simply one of the happiest theatre experiences I've ever had," said Michael Donald Edwards, Producing Artistic Director of Asolo Rep. "I hope our audiences get to experience that unbridled joy, and at the same time respond to how Durang has captured what it feels like to be living in a world of rapid and sometimes bewildering change.”

Directed by Peter Amster, previews will be held January 22 and 23, with opening night on Friday, January 24 at 8 p.m. The show will run through April 13.

"Vanya, Sonia, and Masha are each pathetic in their own way," said Amster, "but they are also, by turns, funny, courageous and endearing. It is only when they recognize their deeper kinship that they become ready to move on, to face the future…together. And that is what makes the American family worth examining.”



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