Happity Saint Valentine’s Day. Did y’all have a nice massacre?
To pre-celebrate the day, we went out to supper and the theatre last night. The show was Annapolis Shakespeare Company‘s production of Anton Chekov’s Three Sisters. It was a crowded main stage (20′ x 25’), between set dressing and at times all eleven cast members at once!
Three sisters is a melancholy and ever-so-slightly depressing drama about the titular sisters and their brother, trapped far from the desired Moscow in a semi-rural backwater of Russia. As the play opens, with their father the General dead a year past, the family’s slow slide into resentment, and the eventual acquiescence to their fates is just picking up speed. Well-played by Teresa Spencer, Olivia Ercolano, and Chelsea Mayo, the sisters Olga, Masha, and Irina, play off the poisonous Natasha (another excellent performance by Renata Plecha) as she seduces their brother Andrei (James Carpenter) and slowly takes over their household. Natasha also is a barometer for the dreams of the sisters, large and small. From love to Moscow, all are dashed in the end. Even Brian Keith MacDonald’s fine portayal of Baron Tuzenbach, who remains stoutly optimistic in the face of all that turn of the century Russia doesn’t have to offer … well, no spoilers.
So you’d be surprised to hear me say that this cast made us laugh, from time to time. The wincing faces of Ms. Spencer and Ms. Mayo as they waited for their sister’s confession of her love for Colonel Vershinin (perfectly pompously played by Steven Hoochuk) had everyone giggling, as did the Colonel himself, from time to time. And to be sure, the blind optimism (or cynicism, in the case of Michael Reid’s Solyony) of some of the characters passed straight through tragic and into comedy. This did for me what a good, well-staged and excellently acted play should do – I cared about the characters and their fates, even when the outcomes were so clearly written in the stars. Highly recommended!
We’ve got our tickets for the next few productions lined up, too! Importance of Being Earnest as well as Romeo and Juliet are upcoming.
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DoD announced no new casualties in the last week. Small blessings. Ciao!