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The story revolves around the relationships of three middle-aged single siblings, two of whom live together, and takes place during a visit by the third, Masha, who supports them. They discuss their lives and loves, argue, and Masha threatens to sell the house. Some of the show's elements were derived from works of Anton Chekhov , including several character names, the play's setting in a cherry orchard, and the theme of the possible loss of an ancestral home.
It transferred to Broadway in Critics praised Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike as a humorous adaptation of Chekhov themes that doesn't require familiarity with Chekhov. Named after Chekhov's characters by their theater-enthusiast professor parents, Vanya and Sonia have not had to grow up.
After spending their adulthood looking after their now-dead parents, neither has a job, and money is provided by their movie star sister Masha, who owns the house and pays the bills. Vanya who is gay and Sonia who is forever reminding everyone that she was adopted spend their days reflecting on their lost chances, debating whether the grove of nine cherry trees on their property constitutes an orchard ,   and bemoaning their rather Chekhovian lot in life.
The only other resident of the house is their cleaning woman Cassandra, who, like her namesake , is prone to making dire prophecies that no one believes. This static environment is disrupted when Masha returns home, bringing with her a flurry of drama, an endless litany of insecurity, and a much younger, gorgeous, dimwitted lover named Spike. Sonia's resentments and Masha's competitive nature begin to spark arguments, and while Vanya tries to keep the peace, he is repeatedly distracted by the preening Spike, who takes every opportunity possible to strip down and show off his muscular body.
Masha's fifth marriage has recently ended and her career is starting to stall. Spike's career has never started, and his biggest claim to fame is nearly landing a part in the sequel to Entourage , Entourage 2. Another interloper arrives, the neighbor's pretty niece Nina, an aspiring actress who provokes envy in Masha, lust in Spike, and sympathy in Vanya.
Masha has returned home to attend a costume party at an influential neighbor's house and insists that her friends and family dress as characters from Disney's animated Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs , choosing to dress as Snow White. Things come to a head the day after the party. As Cassandra uses a voodoo doll on Masha, trying to dissuade thoughts of selling the house, Sonia receives a phone call from a man she met at the party, requesting a date.
Hesitantly, she accepts. Vanya, who is secretly writing a play inspired by Konstantin's imagined symbolist drama in The Seagull , is convinced by Nina to let her read it in front of the others.
During the reading which stars Nina as a molecule and takes place after the destruction of the earth , Spike rudely answers a text on his phone, and dismisses Vanya's suggestion of a handwritten response. Vanya reacts by launching into an impassioned rant, criticizing America's cultural regression in communication and media, while fondly and wistfully recalling the surroundings and memories of his childhood. Concluding that the intent of such progress seems to make people like him feel lost and forgotten, he retreats into the kitchen in tears.
Masha realizes that the person Spike is texting is her personal assistant, with whom he has been having an affair. She ends her relationship with him and kicks him out of the house, announcing she no longer intends to sell it. As the play ends, the three siblings, optimistic for the first time in a very long time, sit quietly together and listen to The Beatles ' song " Here Comes the Sun ". According to Durang, "My play is not a Chekhov parody I take Chekhov scenes and characters and put them into a blender.
They share some elements but are fully imagined. Durang has described Nina as most like a Chekhov character, and related to the character of the same name in The Seagull. In some ways, she's like the nanny in Vanya , but she doesn't reflect Chekhov as much. Newhouse Theater on November 12, , after previews from October 25, and ran until January 20, The actors had to make adjustments to compensate for the changes.
Nielsen and Pierce both said that the proscenium accentuated their comedic performances. Although Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike is a comedy, it has some darker elements that pervade its themes. Meanwhile, Masha comes from Chekhov's Three Sisters. Knowledge of Chekhov will increase the enjoyment of this work's in-jokes, but not as much as an understanding of Durang's absurdism , according to Theatermania.
Brantley said there was comfort in an evening of deliverance of Chekhov's "lost souls", by Durang. Isherwood noted that as Nielsen demonstrated her ability to lighten the play's stream of Chekhovian themes, "broad comic acting [was] raised to the level of high art. According to the New York Post critic, Elisabeth Vincentelli, the show improved with its transfer from Off-Broadway to Broadway, especially Weaver's performance, which Vincentelli deemed the weakest.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Chattanooga Theatre Center. Archived from the original on June 23, Retrieved June 23, Dallas News. Retrieved November 19, Santa Barbara Independent. Christian Science Monitor. Associated Press. Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Archived from the original on December 12, Retrieved November 16, May 29, Archived from the original on May 6, Retrieved April 25, The New York Times. Gothamist LLC. Berkeley Repertory Theatre. September 20, Star Tribune. Arizona Theatre Company. Retrieved August 26, ACT Theatre.
Archived from the original on November 5, Retrieved November 5, New York Post. Tony Awards. Archived from the original on May 12, Retrieved November 14, Broadway World. May 7, Fox at Artios Awards". Works by Christopher Durang. Awards for Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike. Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Play. Tony Award for Best Play. Categories : plays Broadway plays Plays set in Pennsylvania Plays based on other plays Works based on literary characters Plays based on works by Anton Chekhov Tony Award-winning plays.
Christopher Durang. Sigourney Weaver. David Hyde Pierce. Kristine Nielsen. Billy Magnussen. Shalita Grant. Genevieve Angelson. Lucille Lortel Award. Emily Rebholz. Nominated . Drama League Award.
Won . Nominated . Outer Critics Circle Award. Won . Nicholas Martin. Nominated . Outstanding Play.