David Hyde Pierce, Sigourney Weaver and More Lead Lincoln Center's VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE, Opening Tonight, 11/12
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by BWW News Desk
Lincoln Center Theater welcomes Genevieve Angelson, Shalita Grant, Billy Magnussen, Kristine Nielsen, David Hyde Pierce and Sigourney Weaver in the New York premiere of Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, a new play by Christopher Durang, to be directed by Nicholas Martin, which began performances Thursday, October 25 and opens tonight, November 12 at the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater.
VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE is produced by Lincoln Center Theater in association with the McCarter Theatre, where it was commissioned and ran from September 7 through October 7, prior to beginning performances in New York.
In Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike playwright Christopher Durang takes characters and themes from Chekhov, pours them into a blender and mixes them up; the result is his latest play set in present day Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Vanya (David Hyde Pierce) and his stepsister Sonia (Kristine Nielsen) have lived their entire lives in their family’s farmhouse. While they stayed home to take care of their ailing parents, their sister Masha (Sigourney Weaver) has been gallivanting around the world as a successful actress and movie star, leaving Vanya and Sonia to feel trapped and regretful. Their soothsayer/cleaning woman Cassandra (Shalita Grant) keeps warning them about terrible things in the future, which include a sudden visit from Masha and her twenty-something boy toy Spike (Billy Magnussen).
Christopher Durang’s plays include A History of the American Film (Tony nomination), Sister Mary Explains It All For You (Obie Award), Beyond Therapy, Baby With The Bathwater, The Marriage of Bette and Boo (Obie Award and Guild Hull Warriner Award), Sex and Longing (produced by LCT), Laughing Wild, Betty’s Summer Vacation (Obie Award), Miss Witherspoon (2005 Pulitzer Prize finalist) and, most recently Why Torture Is Wrong, and the People Who Love Them.
Nicholas Martin’s LCT credits include Saturn Returns, The New Century, Observe The Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme, The Time of the Cuckoo and Chaucer in Rome. He ‘s collaborated with Christopher Durang on Why Torture Is Wrong, and the People Who Love Them and Betty’s Summer Vacation (Obie Award and Drama Desk nomination). His other Broadway and off-Broadway credits include Butley, Match, Hedda Gabler, You Never Can Tell, The Rehearsal, Fully Committed, Full Gallop and Sophistry.
In addition to its on-going, open-ended run of the Tony Award winning production of War Horse, LCT is currently presenting Amy Herzog’s 4000 Miles, directed by Daniel Aukin in the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater and the LCT3 production of Greg Pierce’s Slowgirl, directed by Anne Kauffman, in the newly opened Claire Tow Theater, on the roof of the Beaumont. Next fall, LCT will also be producing the 75th Anniversary production of the Clifford Odets’ classic Golden Boy, directed by Bartlett Sher, beginning performances Thursday, November 8 at a Broadway theater to be announced and the LCT3 production of Disgraced, a new play by Ayad Akhtar, directed by Kimberly Senior, beginning performances Monday, October 8 at the Claire Tow Theater.
GENEVIEVE ANGELSON Film: Open Five. TV: Army Wives.
Shalita Grant: Off-Broadway: Measure for Measure, The Winter’s Tale, The Merchant of Venice (Public Theater); The Philanderer (Pearl Theatre). Film: Empire Corner, Invisible. TV: The Good Wife.
Billy Magnussen Broadway: The Ritz. Off-Broadway: Paper Dolls. Film: Twelve, Happy Tears, Damsels in Distress and the upcoming Tan Lines, Surviving Family, The Brass Teapot, The East. TV: Boardwalk Empire, In Plain Sight, Law & Order, The Lost Valentine, As The World Turns.
Kristine Nielsen LCT: Ubu. Broadway: Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson, Les Liaisons Dangereuses, Spring Awakening, A Streetcar Named Desire. Off-Broadway: Christopher Durang’s Betty’s Summer Vacation (Obie Award, Drama Desk & Outer Critics Circle Award nominations) and Why Torture Is Wrong and The People Who Love Them (Outer Critics Circle and Drama League Award nominations) and many others including: Love, Loss and What I Wore, Die Mommie Die!, Mrs. Witherspoon, Pericles, As Bees In Honey Drown, Henry V, The Greenbird, Dog Opera (Obie Award), Machinal. TV: Smash, The Savages, Third Watch.
David Hyde Pierce Broadway: La B?te, Accent on Youth, Curtains (Tony Award), Spamalot, The Heidi Chronicles, Christopher Durang’s Beyond Therapy. Off-Broadway: The Landing, Close Up Space, Elliott Loves, Zero Positive, That’s It Folks!, The Maderati, The Author’s Voice, Summer, Hamlet, Much Ado About Nothing, Peter Brook’s The Cherry Orchard. Regional theatre credits include productions at The Guthrie, Goodman, Long Wharf, Ahmanson and Geffen Theaters. Film: The Perfect Host, Down With Love, Full Frontal, Wet Hot American Summer, A Bug’s Life, Treasure Planet, Wolf, Nixon, Sleepless in Seattle, Little Man Tate, Crossing Delancey. TV: The Powers That Be, The Outer Limits, Titus, Frasier (SAG and Emmy Awards).
Sigourney Weaver LCT: Christopher Durang’s Sex and Longing. NY Theater: Crazy Mary (Playwrights Horizons), Mrs. Farnsworth and The Guys (Flea Theatre), The Merchant of Venice (CSC), Hurlyburly (Tony Award nomination), Christopher Durang’s Beyond Therapy and Das Lusitania Songspiel (which she co-authored with Durang), New Jerusalem, Conjuring An Event, Gemini, The Constant Wife. Film: starring roles in many films including Abduction, Avatar, Imaginary Heroes, Tadpole, Heartbreakers, A Map of the World (Golden Globe nomination), The Ice Storm (BAFTA Award, Golden Globe and SAG Award nominations – Best Supporting Actress) Death and the Maiden, Dave, Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II, Working Girl (Oscar, Bafta nominations, Golden Globe Award Best Supporting Actress), Gorillas in the Mist (Oscar nomination, Golden Globe Award – Best Actress) The Year of Living Dangerously, Eyewitness and Ellen Ripley in Alien, Aliens (Oscar and Golden Globe Award nominations), Alien 3 and Alien Resurrection. TV includes: the upcoming USA series Political Animals, Prayers for Bobby (Emmy, Golden Globe, SAG award nominations), Snow White: A Tale of Terror (Emmy, SAG award nominations).
Photo credit: Walter McBride