‘Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike’
a Must-See at Horizon Theatre
Christopher Durang’s 2013 Tony Award-winning comedy “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike,” a play about three dysfunctional middle-aged siblings is not to be missed at Horizon Theatre.
A co-production between Horizon Theatre and Gwinnett county’s Aurora Theatre, this terrific cast pulls off a winner with another play by Durang, one of my all-time favorite playwrights. No playwright brings as much comedy to sad depressed families as Durang. In a tribute to Chekhov, there are tongue-in-cheek references to the Russian playwright, but you don’t have to understand Chekov or the references to laugh at this show.
Three siblings reunite when their movie-and-TV-star sister Masha (Tess Malis Kincaid) returns to their childhood home where her other two siblings still live rent free in a house she pays for. The depressed but loving bi-polar adopted sister, Sonia (Lala Cochran) and their staid gay brother Vanya (Bill Murphy) have not worked in many years.
Masha’s love interest who has accompanied her back home, a young boy toy named Spike (Edward McCreary), paws and toys with Vanya and a young neighbor, Nina (Danielle Deadwyler). He is deliciously disgusting, and it’s a wonder Masha would keep the inappropriate touchy creepy Spike around. But once he performs a strip tease that will leave you panting from the heat and laughing from embarrassment, you get it.
Durang mixes typical Chekhov moodiness with a touch of a Disney fairy tales: “Cinderella,” “Snow White,” and “The Princess and the Frog” with a voodoo-practicing cleaning woman, Cassandra (Denise Arribas). Sounds weird and unbelievable, but it works just fine.
Directed by Aurora Theatre’s Associate Artistic Director Justin Anderson in his Horizon Theatre debut, “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” runs through June 28 at Horizon Theatre. The same production with the same cast is scheduled to run at Aurora Theatre Oct. 1-25.