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Saturday, July 15, 2017

Uncle Vanya (1991)

A professor (Ian Bannen) and his much younger wife (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio) spend a summer at their estate which supports them. But their presence only brings to the fore the frustration and unhappiness of his daughter (Rebecca Pidgeon) and brother in law (David Warner) who work the estate as well as a local doctor (Ian Holm) in love with the wife. Based on the 1899 play by Anton Chekhov as adapted by David Mamet and directed by Gregory Mosher. Chekhov's play can be a chore if not done properly as its blend of dark comedy and tragedy can be insufferable if performed indelicately. With the exception of a miscast Holm, a bit too old and unsympathetic, this production fares very nicely. A play about bitter people pining over what might have been is heavily dependent on its dialog and Chekhov is a master at expressing the pain in the mundane. VANYA itself is a reworking of a previous Chekhov play WOOD DEMON written some ten years earlier. With Rachel Kempson, Roger Hammond and Sandra Voe.   

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