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‘Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike’

7:30 p.m Nov. 7-9 and 14-16

By Linda Jones for LSt

St. Thomas Players, in collaboration with Lee Street theatre, continues its fine reputation of presenting thought-provoking plays with its much-anticipated run of Christopher Durang’s “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.”

This hilarious Tony Award-winning comedy will run Nov. 7-9 and 14-16.

Tickets may be purchased in advance at leestreet.org, or by calling the box office at 704-310-5507 Monday-Friday between 1-5 p.m.

Director Matthew Monte characterizes this play as “absurdist comedy,” quoting the playwright, “It’s Chekov in a blender.”

And, as with all good comedies, there is plenty to think about…in this case, taking stock of your life and how you’ve chosen to spend it.

The actors reflect the talent in our region: Kurt Corriher — who plays Vanya — is well-known locally, as are Mary Ann McCubbin (Cassandra) and Jonathan Coarsey (Spike); Lesi Jonap (Sonia), however, hails from Davidson. Jean Kadela (Masha) lives in Kannapolis and was last seen in “Mothers and Sons.” Rachel Bammel (Nina), travels all the way from Charlotte for rehearsals;

The plot, briefly, introduces the audience to Vanya (not Uncle Vanya) and his sister Sonia who had stayed home to care for their parents for 15 years while their sister Masha pursued an acting career that was “successful”…at least, it paid the bills. When she unexpectedly appears at their home with Spike in tow, the status quo is upset.

While young Spike is distracted by Nina, the ingenue next door, the cleaning lady, Cassandra, attempts to fix everything with her conjuring (turns out, voodoo dolls DO work.). As you can surmise, there’s comedy galore.

A play with the names “Vanya,” “Sonia,” and “Masha” in the title might lead one to expect a Russian play or at least a play with Russian overtones. The joke is on you.

The parents of these present-day, American-born siblings loved plays written by the Russian playwright Anton Chekov and so named their children. Theater-goers will doubly enjoy this production because of all the (insider) theater jokes, but everyone will be tickled by the comedy throughout.

St. Thomas Players and Lee Street theatre invite you to think a little and laugh a lot. Tickets are now on sale for “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.”

Visit leestreet.org or call 704-310-5507. Seating is limited, bring your fun friend…you won’t want to miss this.

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