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“Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike”–Playful Dark Comedy, at CCCT, El Cerrito

“Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike”–Playful Dark Comedy, at CCCT, El Cerrito

Millennial Notes Christopher Durang’s Riff on Chekhov’s Entourage by Emily Colby Anton Chekhov, Snow White, Maggie Smith, Voodoo, and a shirtless 20-something. It’s like TV’s Chopped, where unexpected ingredients come together to create a pop-culture challenge. But, instead of cuisine, CCCT is serving up a fresh, fanciful comedy, called “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.” Chekhov’s early 20th  century Russia finds a new home in 21st Century Bucks County, Pennsylvania, one of the swankiest suburbs in the U.S. Well,…

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“It’s Only a Play” Dazzles with Stage Scandals, at NCTC, S.F.

“It’s Only a Play” Dazzles with Stage Scandals, at NCTC, S.F.

Terrence McNally Whips Up a Golden Egg by Barry David Horwitz “It’s Only a Play” mixes all the jokes and clichés about theater we’ve ever heard. Like circling vultures, the playwright and cast await the Opening Night reviews of the play within the play, “The Golden Egg.” What a passel of funny and wonderfully egotistical theater folks! McNally gives us a satirical, ridiculous, and delightful peek behind the A-List. The actors, director, producer, and writer are all assembled in a…

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“A Fatal Step”: Femme Fatale Spirals into Control, at The Marsh, S.F.

“A Fatal Step”: Femme Fatale Spirals into Control, at The Marsh, S.F.

Jill Vice’s Solo Noir Reveals Murderous Motivation by Julie Dimas-Lockfeld Jill Vice’s solo performance piece is a tongue-in-cheek riff on the film noir crime drama told from the perspective of her femme fatale persona, Sarah. Vice sets the scene by precisely arranging her body into a classic ‘damsel in distress’ pose, flaunting her curves in a tight red dress. Vice plays each character in her story with well-defined physicality and voice. Her superb physical comedy enables her to switch back…

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“Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike”: Comic Riff on Family Life, at Altarena Playhouse, Alameda

“Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike”: Comic Riff on Family Life, at Altarena Playhouse, Alameda

Christopher Durang Makes Great Fun of U.S. Obsessions by Reilly Marston-Chakan “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” gives an extreme and hilarious twist to  family drama. The play, which won the Tony Award for Best Play in 2013, comes from the fertile brain of  Christopher Durang, a comedy genius. At Altarena Playhouse, set in the round, “Vanya” takes place in one room, and the action is non-stop. Sharon Huff directs a multi-talented cast in mesmerizing performances. Each of three…

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