Vanya & Sonia & Masha & Spike
'Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike' offer a lot to laugh about
Posted Mar. 10, 2016 at 12:01 AM
Vanya and Sonia spend most of their days sitting side by side, waiting for the blue heron to visit the pond outside their Pennsylvania home.
Dysfunction, depression and a lack of motivation — this is the cycle the brother and sister have experienced since caring for their ailing parents. When their sister, the voluptuous Hollywood starlet Masha (Leslie Kelly Council), returns to her childhood home with a young actor named Spike (Caleb Dahlquist), those feelings of inadequacy and jealousy return.
It would be easy for Christopher Durang’s Tony award-winning play, “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” to fall beneath the sadness, yet there’s so much humor and humility in Studio 1’s latest show.
Jon and Barbara Young, husband and wife in real life, are believable as brother and sister; their chemistry is undeniable. Caleb Dahlquist certainly is over-the-top (and underdressed) as the show calls for the young Spike to be and Alison Presley (Nina) is the naïve girl-next-door who happens to fall into this wonderfully wacky world of siblings named for characters in Chekhov plays.
There will be moments — especially the monologue Vanya (Jon Young) has about the way technology has affected us as a society — that theatergoers will want to stand up in their seats and shout “that’s exactly how I feel.”
Then there are other times, the scenes with Kathy Collier as the housekeeper/psychic Cassandra, that you’ll laugh so much you may cry.
“You must always get your hopes up,” Nina tells the befuddled Vanya and Sonia.
And, she’s right.
Durang’s show has difficult-to-watch moments of peril and sadness (the kind family dramas are made of) but at the same time, there’s a sweetness to this show. Leave the little ones at home, though, due to the adult humor, language and comedy; it’s great for a date night.
Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday, 7:30 p.m. March 18-19 and 2 p.m. March 20 in the Sara McMillan Brown Theatre, Studio 1, 1332 Plaza Drive, Burlington. Tickets are $16 for adults and $13 for seniors and students and can be purchased atbrownpapertickets.com. For more details, visit studio1online.org or call (336) 534-0321.