BWW Reviews: Philadelphia Theatre Company's VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE
Christopher Durang's 2012 Tony® and Drama Desk® award-winning comedy Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike follows three middle-aged siblings during a whirlwind reunion weekend. Vanya and Sonia live a quiet, uneventful live in the Bucks County farmhouse where they grew up. Vanya (a gay man who may never have actually come out) and Sonia (the adopted sister as she frequently mentions) remained in the family home to care for their ailing parents and never got around to going out and making lives for themselves. The pair's static existence is abruptly disturbed when Masha, their movie star sibling who funds their life of unhappy leisure, returns for a weekend with her twenty-something boy toy in tow, announcing that she plans to sell the house. With Chekhovian references a-plenty, a voodoo doll wielding housekeeper and a Snow White themed outing to a costume party, the weekend's shenanigans leave the family ever-changed.
The Philadelphia Theatre Company's production featured a seasoned cast including Philadelphia favorite, Grace Gonglewski as Masha, Kraig Swartz as Vanya and Deirdre Madigan as Sonia. While each successfully portrays their share of the family tree, the production lacked a cohesion desperately needed to create any kind of impact. Whether that's due to weak elements in Durang's plot or a directorial scheme to foster an unsettled atmosphere like the melancholy times typical of Chekov, it resulted in a production that fell just slightly flat.
Photo credit: Courtesy Philadelphia Theatre Company