Philadelphia Theatre Company to Present VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE, 3/21-4/20

Master of Absurd Comedy Christopher Durang blends the characters and themes from Anton Chekhov's dramas in the hilarious Tony Award-winner Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike running March 21 - April 20 at Philadelphia Theatre Company's Suzanne Roberts Theatre (Broad and Lombard Streets). Directed by James J. Christy, the ensemble features Grace Gonglewski, Deirdre Madigan, Kianne Muschett , Clare O'Malley, Alex Shaw, and Kraig Swartz.

Previews begin Friday, March 21 with Opening Night on Wednesday, March 26. Performances run Tuesdays through Sundays until April 20. Tickets starting at $46 are available by calling the PTC Box Office at 215-985-0420 or visiting Philadelphia Theatre Company's Suzanne Roberts Theatre is located at Broad and Lombard Streets in Center City Philadelphia.

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike is the latest work in the absurdist canon of playwright Christopher Durang, renowned for his particularly zany and sardonic brand of comic playwriting. In Vanya, two siblings, Vanya and Sonia, have never left the confines of their childhood home in bucolic Bucks County, PA, while their sister, Masha, has been gallivanting around the world as a successful movie star. A surprise visit from Masha and her 20-something boyfriend, Spike, throws the normally quiet household into utter upheaval as its residents and visitors get swept up in an intoxicating mixture of lust, rivalry, regret, and the sudden possibility of escape. Durang riffs on Anton Chekhov's most famous themes in this laugh-out-loud funny yet unexpectedly moving American comedy.

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike was commissioned by the McCarter Theatre in association with Lincoln Center Theatre. After premiering at McCarter in fall 2012, it moved Off-Broadway to Lincoln Center's Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater before transferring to Broadway in 2013. The play won the 2013 Tony Award for Best Play, as well as the New York Drama Critics' Circle, Drama League, and Drama Desk Awards.

"We are delighted to renew our relationship with Christopher Durang whose delightful comic sensibility is in top form with Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike," said PTC's Executive Producing Director Sara Garonzik. "This wonderfully hilarious yet touching exploration of family and love pays loving homage to Chekhov's classic themes of loss and longing while also offering sardonic comments on such contemporary topics as global warming and the devolution of culture."

Christopher Durang (Playwright) returns to PTC which produced the world premiere of his musical Adrift in Macao (PTC, 2005) as well as The Vietnamization of New Jersey (PTC, 1982). His other plays on and Off- Broadway include A History of the American Film (Tony nomination), Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You (Obie Award), Beyond Therapy, Baby with the Bathwater, The Marriage of Bette and Boo (Obie Award, Dramatists Guild Hull Warriner Award), Laughing Wild, Betty's Summer Vacation (Obie Award), Sex and Longing, Mrs. Bob Cratchit's Wild Christmas Binge, and Miss Witherspoon (2005 Pulitzer finalist). In recent years, he won the Harvard Arts Medal, the Sidney Kingsley Playwriting Award, was the 2008 honoree at the William Inge Festival, and in September, won the PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation Award for a Master American Dramatist. Durang is a long-time resident of Bucks County.

James J. Christy (Director) was one of the founders of Philadelphia Theatre Company during the '70s where, in more recent years, he directed The Outgoing Tide, Take Me Out, The Laramie Project (both Barrymore aaward winners), Side Man, Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde, and Orson's Shadow at PTC. Five years ago, Chirsty was honored with the Philadelphia Theatre Alliance's Barrymore Award for Lifetime Achievement, a highlight of his long career as a director and educator in Philadelphia. He is a Professor Emeritus at Villanova University where he taught theatre for 39 years.

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