Gerald Anthony plays a West Virginia version of Uncle Vanya in the world premiere of Jeff Cohen's Chekhov-inspired Uncle Jack, which began previews Nov. 2 at the Tribeca Playhouse Off Broadway, and ends its run Dec. 20.
The rethinking of Uncle Vanya, presented by the Worth Street Theatre Company, has Jonathon "Jack" Vaughn and his niece tending the family estate in rural West Virginia. Sophie's father, a retired dean at Columbia University, returns home with his young wife, Helena, to live a quiet life, setting off repressed tensions within the family, and in the family's circle.
Worth Street previously staged an American version of The Seagull, and has a history of reinventing classics (with such titles as Orestes: I Murdered My Mother and Whoa-Jack!).
Official opening (for the open-ended run) of Uncle Jack was Nov. 8. The playwright directs the staging, which features Bernard K. Addison (Broadway's Electra) as Dr. Ashe, Keira Naughton (daughter of actor James Naughton) as Sophie, Leila Danette, Francesca Faridany, Ronald Guttman, Betty Low and Paul Whitthorne. Gerald Anthony won an Emmy Award playing Marco Dane on "General Hospital."
Original music for the production is by Steve Bargonetti and Diane Gioia. Designers are Sonia Alio (set), Chris Dallos (lighting) and Susan Soetaert (costume). The Tribeca Playhouse is at 111 Reade Street at West Broadway in Manhattan. Tickets are $25-$35. Call (212) 604-4195 for information.
-- By Kenneth Jones