Archive for May 2014

First Crack at a New Comic Classic: VANYA AND SONIA at Center Stage

It is gratifying that Christopher Durang’s latest comedy, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, which is assuredly going to be produced in time by every community theater company in the country, gets its Baltimore premiere in style at Center Stage, as a sort of reference production by which other local ones can be gauged. The show, which rolled out over the last two years in regional test runs, then at the Lincoln Center, and then on Broadway, where it closed last year, is in joint production here with the Kansas City Repertory Theatre. The fun seems effortless; with a solid cast and wonderful direction by Eric Rosen at Center Stage, of course nothing is going to go wrong. But I’m willing to bet it would take a lot of trying to do this well-made play badly; I expect we’ll find out.

The Bad Character of “Good Character”

As St. Paul trenchantly put it, “What I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.” And this was a saint talking, and he was using present tense. A saint whose deeds were imperfect even as he spoke, he typified us all. We are all mixed bags. The regulator, however, cannot make a mixed choice. The regulator must assign the label of good or bad character to each applicant.