Chekov Spoofed at Delray Beach Playhouse
By Skip Sheffield
Vania, Sonia and Masha are all characters in plays by the great Russian playwright Anton Chekhov. Spike is not.
The Delray Beach Playhouse wraps up its 70th season with “Vania and Sonia and Masha and Spike,” a very clever comedy by American playwright Christopher Durang, running through June 4.
Chekhov is known for his gloom and doom. Characters often sit around complaining, but never do anything to change their situation. Such is the case with Sonia (Marcie Hall) and Vanya (Michael DeGrotta). This may be Marcie Hall's greatest performance ever, as she proves when she morphs into Maggie Smith as the Wicked Queen in a spangly dress.
They live in the Bucks County, Pennsylvania house of their childhood, though Sonia is quick to point out she was adopted.
The duo has a glamorous older sister Masha (Dr. Ann Patrice Casale) who foots the bills, and a soothsayer housekeeper Cassandra (Vicki Klein) who cleans up after everyone.
Spike (Josh Matheney) is the latest boy-toy of five times married Masha, whose movie career is winding down. Then there is Nina (Danielle Tabino), who is an aspiring actress. In the play’s funniest bit, Vanya stages a reading of his terrible play about the end of the world, with Nina as a molecule.
Yeah, it sounds kinda crazy, but under the sure direction of Randolph DelLago, every vein of humor is mined. Delray Beach Playhouse stands alone not only as South Florida’s oldest community theater, but as its consistently best.
Tickets are $30, and that’s a bargain. Call 561-272-1281, ext. 4.