Charting the misery of his beloved Russia on the brink is Chekhov's artistry. He is adept at heartbreak, exposing the raw yearnings of those caught between desire and obligation. Broken people, broken relationships destroyed by inertia and indifference are his specialty.
The Pearl Theater's revival of Uncle Vanya illustrates this fine company's signature charm, and does one better, doing Anton Chekhov the good service of playing his tragicomedy for humor over gravitas.
During the intermission after the first uneven two acts of the Pearl Theatre Company's Uncle Vanya revival, I remarked to my astonished but extremely tolerant friend that Anton Chekhov's writing shines through no matter what is done to it.
You don't need to know Anton Chekhov's melancholy classics to giggle and guffaw at Vanya and friends, though some familiarity doesn't hurt. All you really need is the ability to laugh at human excesses, foibles and vanities.
"At that time if you were reasonably attractive, you didn't think 'oh I'm going to be a producer,' your focus is on acting. I did my first professional job when I was 14. I just fell in love with the theater and it just blossomed into a passion that never went away."
Austin Pendleton's production of Anton Chekhov's Ivanov at the Classic Stage Company is something of an unsolved puzzle. And that status probably isn't entirely due to Pendleton's direction of a highly competent cast. More likely, it's traceable to the tough challenge posed by the Russian playwright himself.
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See Cate Blanchett's style evolution! Want more? Be sure to check out HuffPost Style on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and Pinterest
“Like Chekhov, playwright Annie Baker finds people deeply weird, and such sympathetic resonance makes her an ideal adapter
When it comes to "whatever," one has to walk the line between expressing ennui and producing it in the audience. This Uncle Vanya leans towards the later in the beginning, but once it gets into the groove it finds a better balance.
Given its wonderfully wacked-out premise, Cold Souls is a film that does not deserve to be lost in the summer shuffle.