Off-Bway Wants Chekhov NOW; Festival Held Oct. 31-Nov. 18

News   Off-Bway Wants Chekhov NOW; Festival Held Oct. 31-Nov. 18 Now in its third year, Chekhov NOW returns to Off-Broadway's Connelly Theatre Oct. 31-Nov. 18. With a variety of straight interpretations and some creative reimaginings (e.g.,: 2001's The (low life) Cherry Orchard), Chekhov NOW brings the great Russian playwright back in 12 separate productions.

Now in its third year, Chekhov NOW returns to Off-Broadway's Connelly Theatre Oct. 31-Nov. 18. With a variety of straight interpretations and some creative reimaginings (e.g.,: 2001's The (low life) Cherry Orchard), Chekhov NOW brings the great Russian playwright back in 12 separate productions.

Halloween brings the New York premiere of Aunt Vanya. Directed by David Karl Lee, this Ant Farm production promises to tell the tale of an angry woman farmer with a gun in her hand, as well as provide "music and advice on how to run your own ant farm." Opening night includes a free Halloween party to follow. Aunt Vanya runs through Nov. 17.

The (low life) Cherry Orchard, adapted and directed by Brian Rogers, moves Chekhov's drama about the petit-bourgeois to the world of 19th century bohemian artists, who struggle too to preserve their way of life. Pigeon, Leah Ryan's comic interpretation of The Seagull, places the examination of theatre art into the realm of punk, where uptown rocker wannabe Nina is torn between her boyfriend Trep and former punk hero, Boris. The (low life) Cherry Orchard plays Nov. 1 18, while Pigeon performs Nov. 8-14.

Other reworkings include Canon in 3D Major II, mixing The Three Sisters and Pachelbel's "Canon in D Major" (Nov. 7-18), a classical and trance musical Platonov called Platonicov (Nov. 7-18) and Rina, adapted from The Three Sisters by Christopher Shorr (Nov. 8-14).

Chekhov short stories get the theatrical treatment with Peter Campbell's Anna (Nov. 8-14) based on "Anyuta," Liza Milinazzo and Dallas Brennan's The Black Monk (Nov. 2-10), Matt Bardin's High Maintenance, based on "A Joke," Teatr Nacionale Chekhovia's The Proposal and The Jubilee (Nov. 1-16) and Judythe Cohen's Rememberance, based on "Mari d'elle." Paul Schmidt recently translated Uncle Vanya for a new production directed by Cynthia Croot (Nov. 3-17). Tickets to performances are $15. The Connelly Theater is located at 220 East 4th Street between Avenues A and B. For reservations, call (212) 414-7773. Chekhov NOW is on the web at http://www.chekhovnow.org.

— By Christine Ehren