PANIC! PRODUCTIONS STAGES TONY AWARD-WINNING COMEDY,
‘VANYA & SONIA & MASHA & SPIKE’
Three Siblings. One Hot Mess.
Panic! Productions launches its new season with Christopher Durang’s Tony Award-winning comedy, “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike,” September 9 through 24, at the Hillcrest Center for the Arts in Thousand Oaks. The play, which was called “deliriously funny…a heedless good time” by the New York Times, is directed by Theresa Secor.
“Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” is the story of two middle-aged siblings sharing a house in rural Bucks County, Pennsylvania, where they bicker and bemoan their wasted lives. Old resentments flare up when their movie star sister swoops in with her new boy toy, who likes to shed most of his clothes at every opportunity. Facing her own fading youth and dwindling money, and threatened by the presence of the young woman next door, the imperious actress decides to sell the house from under her brother and sister. Desperate measures are call for, including the services of a quirky cleaning woman who can predict, and possibly alter, the future.
“The play is not based on Chekov, nor is it a parody of Chekhov,” says veteran playwright Durang, who was awarded the 2013 Tony for best play for “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.” “Chekhov is more of a personal jumping-off point for me. It’s as if I took characters and themes from Chekhov and put them in a blender.”
The cast includes Robert Weibezahl, Tamarah Ashton, and Leah Turner as Vanya, Sonia, and Masha. Tyran Shelton plays Spike and Aly Valles is Nina. LeVanna Atkinson-Williams is the outrageously clairvoyant Cassandra. The show is being produced for Panic! by Robert Weibezahl and Brenda Boehm Miller, with Executive Producer Paul Panico. Lighting design is by Ian Kelly, costumes by Patricia Casto. Ivy Ratafia is production stage manager.
“Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” opens Saturday, September 9, at 8 pm and continues Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm, Sundays at 2 pm through September 24. Tickets are $20/$18 student and seniors, with group rates available, and can be purchased at panicproductions.org, by calling 805/381-1246, or by visiting the box office. The Hillcrest Center for the Arts is at 403 W. Hillcrest Drive, Thousand Oaks.