May 28th, 2014 — Alley
I Saw This Show in NYC and Can’t Compare This Show To The New York Production featuring Sigourney Weaver and Even Better Actors Than She Was Without Risking Insult.
Reviewed by AC on Wed May 28, 2014
May 28, 2014 – The time is 7:35 PM. The theater is impressive, and every seat is filled. The audience is ready for the show to begin. Anxious anticipation fills the theatre.
Although there is a packed house, I noticed that different ethnic cultures are absent. This seemed unusual for a diversified city such as Houston.
The lights are lowered and the music begins to play as the Managing Director appears on stage to make a few announcements. The announcements are lengthy; however, the audience seems patient.
The Scenic Design grabbed my attention. I felt like I was transported to that home in the cherry orchard. The sound is not as good. In some instances, you have to strain to hear the performers. The costume designs are acceptable for that period in time. The sets are well done throughout the whole show and lighting is everything it needed to be.
The play features Jeffrey Bean (Vanya), Sharon Lockwood (Sonia), Josie De Guzman (Masha), and Jay Sullivan (Spike). And revolves around three middle-aged single siblings, two of whom live together, during a visit by the third who supports them. The setting in a cherry orchard, and the theme of the possible loss of an ancestral home.
Jeffrey Bean, Sharon Lockwood, Josie De Guzman, and Jay Sullivan are all powerful performers. They give credibility to the characters of the show.
Christopher Ferdinand Durang is an American playwright known for works of outrageous and often absurd comedy. And the show pulls all the stops: one-liners and their matching outlandish reactions. Outrageous dress-up and some slapstick. However, some of the outlandish reactions are overdone, particularly in some of Spike’s reactions…digressing from funny…to ridiculous…to move on to the next line.
The other two performers, Rachael Holmes (Cassandra) ,and Sarah Nealis (Nina) –are solid and enjoyable. However, I am more partial to Rachael Holmes’ powerful, booming voice.
Small gaps did exist – nevertheless, the show is quite funny, but also belabored.