VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE to Open 1/24 at Asolo Rep

VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE, the hysterically twisted, Chekhov-inspired 2013 Tony Award winner for Best Play, continues Asolo Rep's 2013-14 season. Directed by Peter Amster, previews for this laugh-out-loud comedy will be held January 22-23, opening night will be on Friday, January 24 at 8pm, and the show will run through April 13.

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.

Durang's hit Broadway comedy takes audience members on a roller coaster ride. The play seamlessly shifts from comedy to dramedy to absurdism and back around again. It is this whirlwind pace and Durang's exploration of topics of jealousy, aging and regret, that make VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE such an unforgettable theatrical experience.

The play is packed with subtle and not-so-subtle Chekhovian references, but audience members by no means need to be avid Chekhov enthusiasts to enjoy this fun-filled play. Most references are explained by the characters themselves or the moment is funny on its own.

"Chris Durang's new play is quite simply one of the happiest theatre experiences I've ever had. 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," said Michael Donald Edwards, Producing Artistic Director of Asolo Rep.

Durang, who is well known for his absurdly comical plays, is one of the funniest dramatists writing today. His other works include Sister Mary Ignatius Explains it All For You, The Marriage of Bette and Boo, and Miss Witherspoon. In addition to his Tony Award for best play for VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE, he has received numerous Obie Awards as well as a Tony Award nomination for Best Book of a Musical for A History of the American Film.

VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE continues the second season of Asolo Rep's five-year American Character Project and its focus on the truly extraordinary American Family. At its core, VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE is a charmingly funny story of three siblings who have never grown up. Durang's portrayal of these wildly inappropriate yet lovable siblings proves that when it comes to family, there is no such thing as normal.

"Vanya, Sonia, and Masha are each pathetic in their own way, 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 and celebrating," said Director Peter Amster.

CAST (In order of appearance):

Andrew Sellon* Vanya
Peggy Roeder* Sonia
Tyla Abercrumbie* Cassandra
Anne-Marie Cusson* Masha
Jefferson McDonald Spike
Tori Grace Hines Nina
*Members of Actors' Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.

SPECIAL PUBLIC PROGRAMMING:

Discussion Series: Connecting Great Artists to Great Audiences

Tuesday Talkbacks: Share an intimate discussion on the themes of the play following Tuesday night performances.

February 18*, March 4, and March 18 following the 7:30pm performance

*This talkback will also feature special guest Jay Handelman of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune

Meet the Actors: After select Sunday matinee performances, join the cast for a special moderated talkback.

  • January 26 following the 2pm performance

Pre-Show Conversations: A half hour before select performances, speak with Asolo Rep artists and staff to gain insight into the play's development and explore its themes.




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