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Uncle Vanya

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ENTERTAINMENT
August 4, 1995 | By Desmond Ryan, INQUIRER MOVIE CRITIC
The selfish old lecher who travels to a remote, run-down country estate wonders if the cases of wine have been damaged by the journey. Much the same query could be raised against the idea of moving Chekhov's beloved Uncle Vanya from Russia to Australia just after World War I. Country Life wastes little time in showing that old wine can do very well in a new bottle. Just as Shakespeare's plays can survive and flourish - however they are relocated and reimagined - Uncle Vanya is an equally pliant masterpiece.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 23, 1998 | By Desmond Ryan, INQUIRER MOVIE CRITIC
A Russian filmmaker whose credits include a definitive Uncle Vanya, an epic of life in Siberia, a ritzy Hollywood action film, a TV miniseries of Homer's Odyssey and even an instantly forgettable Sylvester Stallone outing (Tango and Cash) surely redefines the meaning of artistic range. Andrei Konchalovsky is now 60 years old, and his life has encompassed both controversy and distinction in his homeland and an eclectic up-and-down career in Hollywood. This weekend, International House is hosting a well-chosen retrospective of Konchalovsky that touches on both sides of his rather schizoid persona as a director.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 29, 2010 | By Howard Shapiro, Inquirer Staff Writer
If Russia's iconic playwright Anton Chekhov were alive today, he might have created the exact same script for Uncle Vanya that he wrote in 1896 - or so it seems at the striking Lantern Theater production that opened in Center City on Wednesday night. That's because Kathryn MacMillan's production, whose cast brings off Uncle Vanya with a straightforward approach that could be labeled The Feel of Real, makes the classic fresh, as if it were newly plucked from some bush that blossoms with plays.
NEWS
January 19, 1994 | by Nels Nelson, Daily News Theater Critic
I have met "Three Sisters," "The Seagull" and "The Cherry Orchard" on a number of occasions, but fate, until now, has withheld from me an acquaintance with the other member of Anton Chekhov's Big Four, "Uncle Vanya. " Fate has been extraordinarily kind in this instance, for the "Uncle Vanya" served up to me the other evening at the Annenberg Center's Harold Prince Theater was a feast so beautifully and intelligently staged that it likely will reign as the standard against which I'll match all subsequent productions set before me. My "Uncle Vanya No. 1" is the Carol Rocamora-translated and directed production that has auspiciously raised the curtain on the 1994 season of the Philadelphia Festival Theater for New Plays.
NEWS
May 19, 1987 | By William B. Collins, Inquirer Theater Critic
The impression that Chekhov's characters are talking to themselves rather than to one another is heightened in the curious production of Uncle Vanya that noted Soviet director Georgi Tovstonogov has staged for the McCarter Theater Company. Moments of intimacy are rare in this protracted reading. The characters who populate Chekhov's country estate inhabit their own space. Conversations often are carried on at maximum distance. Speeches are delivered to the ambient air, sometimes with the speaker aimlessly on the move.
NEWS
November 12, 1986 | By Carrie Rickey, Inquirer Movie Critic
Best known in the United States for Runaway Train (1985) and Maria's Lovers (1984), Soviet emigre director Andrei Konchalovsky has made a number of literary adaptations, among them 1972's moody Uncle Vanya. Konchalovsky's compelling interpretation of the 1898 Anton Chekhov play rarely leaves the drawing room of a provincial Russian estate, thus enabling the director to explore his characters' claustrophobia. They're confined by a crumbling estate that's an analogue of their inner lives: Both the landscape and their emotions have been farmed past the point of diminishing returns.
NEWS
December 23, 1994 | by Bob Strauss, Los Angeles Daily News
Chekhov ain't easy. The great Russian playwright wrote about depressed, relatively well-off country folks in the era just before their whole class was swept away by the Russian Revolution. But even though doom and languid gloom hang heavy over most of Chekhov's work, there's a more complicated, lively and even funny side to his writing. This is not always projected from the stage. Amazingly, theater director Andre Gregory's production of "Uncle Vanya," as recorded in Louis Malle's enthralling "Vanya on 42nd Street," brings out all of the contradictory, Chekhovian humanity that more elaborate stagings sometimes fail to expose.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 27, 1995 | By Clifford A. Ridley, INQUIRER THEATER CRITIC
"Don't worry," the man behind me assured his intermission companion at Circle in the Square's new Uncle Vanya. "It gets better. " Well, the play does, anyway. It isn't until the third act, after all, that playwright Anton Chekhov has the distraught Vanya fire a couple of pistol shots in the general direction of old Serebryakov, the windbag professor who proposes to reward Vanya's lifelong devotion by selling the estate from which Vanya makes his living. That tends to liven things up, you may be sure, in the secluded country house whose calm has been ruffled by the arrival of Serebryakov and his beautiful young wife, Yelena.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 18, 2012 | By Toby Zinman, For The Inquirer
Brush up your Chekhov - Christopher Durang's newest comedy, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike , is premiering at McCarter Theater Center in Princeton and on its way to New York's Lincoln Center. It stars Sigourney Weaver and David Hyde Pierce in roles perfect for them, along with a group of less-famous-but-just-as-fine actors under Nicholas Martin's featherlight direction. Durang has written some hilarious parodies (my favorite is Desire Desire Desire , a send-up of Streetcar )
NEWS
March 24, 2014 | By John Timpane, Inquirer Staff Writer
Philadelphia, meet Anton Chekhov. In 2005, Walt Whitman came to town, with the 150th anniversary of the debut of the Camden bard's Leaves of Grass . Last year, Jane Austen stomped in, partying like it was 2013 for the bicentennial of Pride and Prejudice . Shakespeare visits, it seems, every year (including this one, the 450th anniversary of his birth). Well, make way for Anton Chekhov (1860-1904), physician, master of the short story, and one of history's great playwrights.
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NEWS
March 24, 2014 | By John Timpane, Inquirer Staff Writer
Philadelphia, meet Anton Chekhov. In 2005, Walt Whitman came to town, with the 150th anniversary of the debut of the Camden bard's Leaves of Grass . Last year, Jane Austen stomped in, partying like it was 2013 for the bicentennial of Pride and Prejudice . Shakespeare visits, it seems, every year (including this one, the 450th anniversary of his birth). Well, make way for Anton Chekhov (1860-1904), physician, master of the short story, and one of history's great playwrights.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 18, 2012 | By Toby Zinman, For The Inquirer
Brush up your Chekhov - Christopher Durang's newest comedy, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike , is premiering at McCarter Theater Center in Princeton and on its way to New York's Lincoln Center. It stars Sigourney Weaver and David Hyde Pierce in roles perfect for them, along with a group of less-famous-but-just-as-fine actors under Nicholas Martin's featherlight direction. Durang has written some hilarious parodies (my favorite is Desire Desire Desire , a send-up of Streetcar )
ENTERTAINMENT
October 27, 2011 | By John Timpane, Inquirer Staff Writer
Amos Oz is one of the best-known people in all Israel, one of the world's best-known writers, and author of the newly published Scenes From Village Life. He's also often mentioned in connection with the Nobel Prize. Problem: With all that freight on the name Amos Oz , people expect everything you write to be about Israel. Oz - who will give a free reading at the Free Library at 12:15 p.m. Friday - isn't thrilled, but he understands. "Any literature from a troubled part of the world is bound to be read as an allegory about life in that part of the world," he says, speaking by phone from New York.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 29, 2010 | By Howard Shapiro, Inquirer Staff Writer
If Russia's iconic playwright Anton Chekhov were alive today, he might have created the exact same script for Uncle Vanya that he wrote in 1896 - or so it seems at the striking Lantern Theater production that opened in Center City on Wednesday night. That's because Kathryn MacMillan's production, whose cast brings off Uncle Vanya with a straightforward approach that could be labeled The Feel of Real, makes the classic fresh, as if it were newly plucked from some bush that blossoms with plays.
NEWS
May 7, 2003 | By Douglas J. Keating INQUIRER THEATER CRITIC
Anyone familiar with Anton Chekhov's Uncle Vanya could imagine a production that emphasizes the role of strong, practical, plain Sonya. Because she is played by the well-known Amanda Plummer, it might be assumed that this is the aim of the new McCarter Theatre production. Indeed, the person next to me in the audience considered this Vanya to be Sonya's play. I could see her point, but I thought the evening belonged more to the charming, alcoholic Dr. Astrov, portrayed by Michael Siberry.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 7, 2000 | By Clifford A. Ridley, INQUIRER THEATER CRITIC
"I drink in order to fool myself," morosely declares the title character in Uncle Vanya, on view at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre in a revival by the Roundabout Theatre Company. "I fool myself into believing I'm still alive. " Yet though Vanya may technically be counted among the living, faithfully running the country estate that supports his hated former brother-in-law, he is dead in spirit. Paralyzed by inertia, tortured by jealousy and self-pity, Anton Chekhov's antihero plods dully from day to day. His soul is as empty and arid as the "narrow, provincial Russian country life" (in the words of his disenchanted doctor friend, Astrov)
ENTERTAINMENT
January 23, 1998 | By Desmond Ryan, INQUIRER MOVIE CRITIC
A Russian filmmaker whose credits include a definitive Uncle Vanya, an epic of life in Siberia, a ritzy Hollywood action film, a TV miniseries of Homer's Odyssey and even an instantly forgettable Sylvester Stallone outing (Tango and Cash) surely redefines the meaning of artistic range. Andrei Konchalovsky is now 60 years old, and his life has encompassed both controversy and distinction in his homeland and an eclectic up-and-down career in Hollywood. This weekend, International House is hosting a well-chosen retrospective of Konchalovsky that touches on both sides of his rather schizoid persona as a director.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 4, 1995 | By Desmond Ryan, INQUIRER MOVIE CRITIC
The selfish old lecher who travels to a remote, run-down country estate wonders if the cases of wine have been damaged by the journey. Much the same query could be raised against the idea of moving Chekhov's beloved Uncle Vanya from Russia to Australia just after World War I. Country Life wastes little time in showing that old wine can do very well in a new bottle. Just as Shakespeare's plays can survive and flourish - however they are relocated and reimagined - Uncle Vanya is an equally pliant masterpiece.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 27, 1995 | By Clifford A. Ridley, INQUIRER THEATER CRITIC
"Don't worry," the man behind me assured his intermission companion at Circle in the Square's new Uncle Vanya. "It gets better. " Well, the play does, anyway. It isn't until the third act, after all, that playwright Anton Chekhov has the distraught Vanya fire a couple of pistol shots in the general direction of old Serebryakov, the windbag professor who proposes to reward Vanya's lifelong devotion by selling the estate from which Vanya makes his living. That tends to liven things up, you may be sure, in the secluded country house whose calm has been ruffled by the arrival of Serebryakov and his beautiful young wife, Yelena.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 27, 1994 | By Desmond Ryan, INQUIRER MOVIE CRITIC
Wallace Shawn's extraordinary title performance in Vanya on 42nd Street has attracted critical bouquets. And part of the reason, says its star, can be found in details as small as what he does with his flowers. At one point in Chekhov's Uncle Vanya, brilliantly updated by playwright David Mamet and staged for the theater by Andre Gregory, Vanya chances upon the last thing he wants to see. Chekhov's bitter, middle-aged protagonist has gone to fetch flowers for his beloved Yelena, and returns to find her kissing his best friend.
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