VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE Opens Tonight at Center Stage

VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE Opens Tonight at Center Stage

Previews begin at Center Stage next week for Christopher Durang's Tony Award-winning comedy Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike. A co-production with Kansas City Repertory Theatre, the show arrives from a run that was hailed by critics as "Undeniably funny" and "excellent!" (Kansas City Star). The co-production is under the direction of Kansas City Rep's Artistic Director Eric Rosen, and brings to Baltimore three of Kansas City's cast members, including Tony Award-nominee Barbara Walsh, who last appeared at Center Stage as Desirée in 2008's A Little Night Music.

Winner of the 2013 Tony Award for Best New Play, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike is a laugh-out-loud funny comedy, riffing on classic literary and theatrical themes. Playwright Christopher Durang's many works include Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You (Obie Award); Beyond Therapy; The Marriage of Bette and Boo (Obie Award); Betty's Summer Vacation (Obie Award); Miss Witherspoon (2005 Pulitzer finalist); and he was one of the Center Stage-commissioned playwrights for My America in 2012.

"We believe that our audiences deserve to see the best of American theater, and Christopher Durang is one of the leading voices in contemporary drama," says Artistic Director Kwame Kwei-Armah. "As more and more theaters announce productions of this hilarious, award-winning new comedy, we are excited that Baltimore will be among the first round of cities to experience it."

Joining the cast when the production arrives in Baltimore are local favorites Bruce Nelson (Animal Crackers) as Vanya, and Susan Rome (Mud Blue Sky) as Masha. Also joining the production as Cassandra is Kerry Warren, who appeared in Much Ado About Nothing at New York's Public Theater, directed by Kwame Kwei-Amah. Transferring from the Kansas City Rep production are Zachary Andrews as Spike, Emily Peterson as Nina, as Ms. Walsh, who plays Sonia.

Vanya and his sister Sonia have frittered their lives away living in the same farmhouse where they were raised. When their quiet existence is rocked by the arrival of their glamorous movie star sister Masha and her hunky boy toy, Spike, a lifetime of sibling rivalry explodes into a weekend of comedic pyrotechnics. Hailed as "a sublime state of hilarity" (New York Magazine), acclaimed playwright Christopher Durang weaves together Chekhovian themes and modern wit in this Tony Award-winning new comedy.

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike by Christopher Durang, directed by Eric Rosen, begins previews on Wednesday, April 16, officially opens tonight, April 23, and runs through May 25. Tickets start at $19 and can be purchased by calling 410.332.0033, or visiting www.centerstage.org.

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike is sponsored Legg Mason. Center Stage is supported by a grant from the Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC), an agency dedicated to cultivating a vibrant cultural community where the arts thrive. An agency of the Department of Business & Economic Development, the MSAC provides financial support and technical assistance to nonprofit organizations, units of government, colleges, and universities for arts activities. Funding for the MSAC is also provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. Center Stage's 2013-14 Season is made possible by Season 51 presenting sponsor M&T Bank. Maryland Public Television is a Media Partner for Center Stage's 2013-14 Season.

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