VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE Review

Links to all reviews can be found using the REVIEWS link at the top of the page. Blog postings, links and more are available on my Facebook fan page. You can also receive updates on Twitter from @BTCincyRob.

Siblings Masha (Elizabeth Hess, Vanya (John Feltch,& Sonia enjoy an atypically peaceful, harmonious scene. Photo by Sandy Underwood.

Siblings Masha (Elizabeth Hess, Vanya (John Feltch,& Sonia enjoy an atypically peaceful, harmonious scene. Photo by Sandy Underwood.

VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE presented by Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park through May 23. Click here for more information on the production. I attended the opening performance.

There is much to like about VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE, the closing production of the Marx season. As you enter the theater, you are greeted by Paul Shortt’s gorgeous set design. The lighting, designed James Sales, compliments the set with its abundance of “natural light” and shadow.

Estranged sisters Masha (Elizabeth Hess) & Sonia (Suzanne Grodner) simultaneously bemoan their lots in life. Photo by Sandy Underwood.

Estranged sisters Masha (Elizabeth Hess) & Sonia (Suzanne Grodner) simultaneously bemoan their lots in life. Photo by Sandy Underwood.

Christopher Durang’s script is funny and smartly-written. There are plenty of laugh-out-loud moments over the two 70-minute acts. Playhouse’s production boasts a solid ensemble. Suzanne Grodner is a stand-out as poor, put-upon Sonia. She was hysterical as her costume-party character [vague to prevent spoilers -Rob]. Based on the audience’s and my reaction to the second act phone call, Grodner certainly had us rooting for Sonia’s happiness. Vanya’s (John Feltch) act two rant was another favorite moment in the show.

Cassandra (Shinnerrie Jackson, center) spews a torrent of zany prophecies upon the rest of the cast. Photo by Sandy Underwood.

Cassandra (Shinnerrie Jackson, center) spews a torrent of zany prophecies upon the rest of the cast. Photo by Sandy Underwood.

Opening night, the show felt a bit uneven in pacing and characterization. There were moments when I felt the roles were portrayed more caricature than character. Don’t get me wrong, there were some nice, emotional moments between the characters, I would just like to see that energy carry throughout the entire show. I’m sure a few more performances, under their belt, will help.

Overall, a great way to end the 2014-2015 season in the Marx Theater.

My rating: 4.25 out of 5

I would enjoy hearing what you think about the show or my review. All I ask is that you express your opinion without attacking someone else’s opinion. You can post your comments below.

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1 Comment

Filed under Reviews

One response to “VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE Review

  1. I saw it last night and had the same reactions you did. The pacing seemed better from what you experienced, likely to a week of performances under their belt. Sonia’s phone call had everyone glued to their seats and Vanya’s Act II tirade brought the house down.

    Like

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