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By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | April 25, 2014
Nothing like a hefty bout of Chekhovian depression to lift the spirits. You can't help but feel better after spending time with "Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike," the 2013 Tony Award-winning comedy by Christopher Durang currently receiving a snappy Baltimore premiere at Center Stage. Filled with Chekhov references, this tale of three siblings and a stud might try a little too hard and might apply some of its humor with the subtlety of a hammer and sickle. But Durang's clever concoction - a sort of extended, sometimes heady sitcom - entertains consistently.
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By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | April 25, 2014
Nothing like a hefty bout of Chekhovian depression to lift the spirits. You can't help but feel better after spending time with "Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike," the 2013 Tony Award-winning comedy by Christopher Durang currently receiving a snappy Baltimore premiere at Center Stage. Filled with Chekhov references, this tale of three siblings and a stud might try a little too hard and might apply some of its humor with the subtlety of a hammer and sickle. But Durang's clever concoction - a sort of extended, sometimes heady sitcom - entertains consistently.
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ENTERTAINMENT
By Mary Carole McCauley and The Baltimore Sun | May 3, 2013
The Baltimore School for the Arts can boast its first nomination for a Tony Award -- thanks to graduate Shalita Grant, whose debut Broadway bow has won her a nod for Best Featured Actress in a Play. "Graduates have been nominated for Grammys and Emmy Awards in the past, but this is our first Tony," says Donald Hicken, chairman of the school's theater department. "Shalita is over the moon. She's an amazingly gifted actor and this was clear from her audition for entrance as a 9 th grader at BSA. One of our trustees kind of begged me to audition her. Ordinarily, I wouldn't see her because it was outside our regular audition week.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | December 17, 2013
There has been a change in the spring lineup at Center Stage. Instead of "The Liquid Plain" by Naomi Wallace, the company will present the Baltimore premiere of Christopher Durang's comedy, "Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike," which won the 2013 Tony Award for Best Play. The production will begin previews on April 16; the regular run is April 23 to May 25. "I was so looking forward to 'Liquid,' so this is a regrettable change," said Center Stage artistic director Kwame Kwei-Armah, who was to have directed the Wallace play -- he directed its world premiere last summer at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.
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By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | May 14, 2004
Strip away the portentous style and lush views of nature in The Return and all you've got is a slender nightmare of a family gone haywire in an outing that turns into survival camp. Konstantin Lavronenko plays a father - listed in the credits only as Father - who imposes a tough-love regimen on two sons after he returns from an unexplained 12-year absence. The younger boy, Vanya (Ivan Dobronravov), resists paternal authority. The older boy, Andrey (Vladimir Garin), welcomes it. To quote the Far Side cartoon showing a child-care center next to a dingo breeder, there's trouble brewing.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | December 17, 2013
There has been a change in the spring lineup at Center Stage. Instead of "The Liquid Plain" by Naomi Wallace, the company will present the Baltimore premiere of Christopher Durang's comedy, "Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike," which won the 2013 Tony Award for Best Play. The production will begin previews on April 16; the regular run is April 23 to May 25. "I was so looking forward to 'Liquid,' so this is a regrettable change," said Center Stage artistic director Kwame Kwei-Armah, who was to have directed the Wallace play -- he directed its world premiere last summer at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.
FEATURES
By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,Sun Movie Critic | May 18, 2007
Russian director Andrei Kravchuk clearly has read his Dickens and watched his De Sica. His new film, The Italian (Italianetz), opening today at the Charles, draws equally on Oliver Twist and The Bicycle Thief in its depiction of a world where expediency trumps morality and where what's real is made bearable only by what could be. Six-year-old Vanya (a remarkably composed Kolya Spiridonov) is warehoused in a Russian orphanage, brought out and gussied up periodically in hopes that some wealthy foreign family will adopt him. Luck seems to shine on him when a respectable Italian family agrees to do just that.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,Sun Film Critic | August 18, 1995
"Country Life" is Vanya not on 42nd street but on the 42nd parallel -- that is to say, it's Chekhov's "Uncle Vanya" picked up and deposited with loving respect not in a crumbling Gotham movie palace but in rural Australia, circa 1919.Michael Blakemore's film is a good deal less radical than the Andre Gregory-Louis Malle "Vanya on 42nd Street" of last year. Gregory staged the authentic Vanya without costumes or makeup or even a stage, almost as an homage to the transcendent power of performance and Chekhov's words.
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By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,Sun Film Critic | December 23, 1994
Call it "My Hong Kong Shoot-Out with Andre" and mark it as the strangest moment in a long career of strange moments.I'm sitting in the Charles, watching the last few minutes of "A Better Tomorrow III." On the screen: mayhem, blood, screams, ++ crashing cars, rapid-firing Berettas and scraps of subtitled dialogue like "Chip! I love you, you darn rascal!"From the rear of the house, a blade of illumination suddenly penetrates the dark: a door has been opened. And there, framed in the backlight of daytime, looking only mildly perturbed at the panoply of violence on the screen, is the Andre Gregory of "My Dinner with Andre," one of the most consummately civilized men the face of the earth.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,Sun Film Critic | December 23, 1994
"Vanya on 42nd Street" is Chekhov for people who hate Chekhov, theater for people who hate theater, and a movie for people who love movies.Louis Malle's film of Andre Gregory's perpetually-in- rehearsal production of Chekhov's "Uncle Vanya" in a decrepit New York movie house is something of a transcendent miracle. This movie, which opens today at the Charles, is a tribute to the magic dance of performance and text and the irrelevance of all other matters. The movie simply becomes, seamlessly and totally, the play; and then both become the universe, as every other element melts away.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Mary Carole McCauley and The Baltimore Sun | May 3, 2013
The Baltimore School for the Arts can boast its first nomination for a Tony Award -- thanks to graduate Shalita Grant, whose debut Broadway bow has won her a nod for Best Featured Actress in a Play. "Graduates have been nominated for Grammys and Emmy Awards in the past, but this is our first Tony," says Donald Hicken, chairman of the school's theater department. "Shalita is over the moon. She's an amazingly gifted actor and this was clear from her audition for entrance as a 9 th grader at BSA. One of our trustees kind of begged me to audition her. Ordinarily, I wouldn't see her because it was outside our regular audition week.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Mary Carole McCauley, The Baltimore Sun | August 5, 2011
For actor Hugo Weaving, the distance between his farm in Sydney, Australia and Los Angeles isn't just 7,500 miles, give or take. It's the distance between his identities as a pop culture icon and as a conservatory-trained actor who revels in the classical canon. Both of Weaving's faces are on prominent display in the Baltimore area this month. As a cartoon villain with inverted facial features in a red rubber mask, Weaver is stomping around the screen in the dozens of movie theaters where "Captain America" is now showing.
FEATURES
By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,Sun Movie Critic | May 18, 2007
Russian director Andrei Kravchuk clearly has read his Dickens and watched his De Sica. His new film, The Italian (Italianetz), opening today at the Charles, draws equally on Oliver Twist and The Bicycle Thief in its depiction of a world where expediency trumps morality and where what's real is made bearable only by what could be. Six-year-old Vanya (a remarkably composed Kolya Spiridonov) is warehoused in a Russian orphanage, brought out and gussied up periodically in hopes that some wealthy foreign family will adopt him. Luck seems to shine on him when a respectable Italian family agrees to do just that.
FEATURES
By J. Wynn Rousuck and J. Wynn Rousuck,SUN THEATER CRITIC | September 14, 2004
Vanya Voynitsky is weary, fed-up and middle-aged. He has sacrificed his personal life for his work, only to learn that after 25 devoted, selfless years, he's about to be pink-slipped, made redundant, just plain shunted aside. Anton Chekhov wrote Uncle Vanya more than a century ago, but the title character's situation is remarkably up-to-date, and so is the stirringly fresh performance of Mitchell Hebert in that role at Everyman Theatre. To describe the depiction of a discontented, worn-down character as "fresh" may seem like a contradiction in terms.
FEATURES
By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | May 14, 2004
Strip away the portentous style and lush views of nature in The Return and all you've got is a slender nightmare of a family gone haywire in an outing that turns into survival camp. Konstantin Lavronenko plays a father - listed in the credits only as Father - who imposes a tough-love regimen on two sons after he returns from an unexplained 12-year absence. The younger boy, Vanya (Ivan Dobronravov), resists paternal authority. The older boy, Andrey (Vladimir Garin), welcomes it. To quote the Far Side cartoon showing a child-care center next to a dingo breeder, there's trouble brewing.
FEATURES
By J. Wynn Rousuck and J. Wynn Rousuck,SUN THEATER CRITIC | December 23, 1997
Anton Chekhov's "Uncle Vanya" is a play in which things almost happen.People almost take the steps that could change their lives, or bring them happiness, or at least end the boredom.But then they retreat, afraid to leave their own preconceived roles, which have given their lives order but not satisfaction.Director Zelda Fichandler's production at Washington's Arena Stage, using a translation by Carol Rocamora, ably conveys these debilitating frustrations and succeeds in keeping the viewer engaged in a play about futility and ennui.
FEATURES
By J. Wynn Rousuck and J. Wynn Rousuck,SUN THEATER CRITIC | September 14, 2004
Vanya Voynitsky is weary, fed-up and middle-aged. He has sacrificed his personal life for his work, only to learn that after 25 devoted, selfless years, he's about to be pink-slipped, made redundant, just plain shunted aside. Anton Chekhov wrote Uncle Vanya more than a century ago, but the title character's situation is remarkably up-to-date, and so is the stirringly fresh performance of Mitchell Hebert in that role at Everyman Theatre. To describe the depiction of a discontented, worn-down character as "fresh" may seem like a contradiction in terms.
FEATURES
By Michele Nevard and Michele Nevard,Staff Writer | March 15, 1992
London -- With 37 theaters open in the West End of London this spring, and numerous fringe theaters active, visiting Americans have rarely enjoyed such a wide choice.Walk across Waterloo Bridge, catch one of the most impressive views of London, and head to the Royal National Theatre.Home to three theaters -- the Olivier, Lyttelton and Cottesloe -- there's a coice of at least six different productions at any time.In the Olivier there's the highly successful production of Kenneth Graham's classic children's story, "Wind in the Willows," adapted by Alan Bennett, one of England's leading playwrights.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,Sun Film Critic | August 18, 1995
"Country Life" is Vanya not on 42nd street but on the 42nd parallel -- that is to say, it's Chekhov's "Uncle Vanya" picked up and deposited with loving respect not in a crumbling Gotham movie palace but in rural Australia, circa 1919.Michael Blakemore's film is a good deal less radical than the Andre Gregory-Louis Malle "Vanya on 42nd Street" of last year. Gregory staged the authentic Vanya without costumes or makeup or even a stage, almost as an homage to the transcendent power of performance and Chekhov's words.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,Sun Film Critic | December 23, 1994
"Vanya on 42nd Street" is Chekhov for people who hate Chekhov, theater for people who hate theater, and a movie for people who love movies.Louis Malle's film of Andre Gregory's perpetually-in- rehearsal production of Chekhov's "Uncle Vanya" in a decrepit New York movie house is something of a transcendent miracle. This movie, which opens today at the Charles, is a tribute to the magic dance of performance and text and the irrelevance of all other matters. The movie simply becomes, seamlessly and totally, the play; and then both become the universe, as every other element melts away.
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