Classic Stage's Ivanov, With Ethan Hawke as Dissatisfied Hero, Opens Nov. 11; Austin Pendleton Directs
By Kenneth Jones
Off-Broadway's Classic Stage Company opens its new production of Anton Chehov's Ivanov, a play that the Russian playwright revised throughout his lifetime, on Nov. 11, following previews that began Oct. 17. Tony Award nominee Ethan Hawke stars.
The opening was originally to be Nov. 4, but a four-day power outage that week prompted a change to Nov. 15, which was later adjusted to Nov. 11. Ivanov resumed performances, after the Hurricane-spawned blackout, on the evening of Nov. 3. Like other theatres below 34th Street, CSC — which operates at 136 E. 13th Street — had been without power Oct. 29-Nov. 2.
During that dormant week, the company (directed by Austin Pendleton) met for brushup rehearsals in midtown, where there has been power following the deadly Oct. 29 landfall of Hurricane Sandy.
Tony nominee and film actor Hawke (The Coast of Utopia, "Before Sunrise") stars in the title role of the debt-ridden government official who is a bundle of dissatisfaction. Joely Richardson (Side Effects) plays Anna, his ill Jewish wife, who renounced her family for Ivanov; Glenn Fitzgerald is Borkin; Roberta Maxwell is Zinaida; George Morfogen is Shabelsky; Juliet Rylance is Sasha; Jonathan Marc Sherman is Lvov; and Pendleton is Lebedev (he replaced Louis Zorich, who took ill).
Ivanov, here translated by Carol Rocamora, is the lesser-known 1887 play by Russian master Anton Chekhov, The title character is sometimes referred to as "the Russian Hamlet."
The production plays a limited engagement through Dec. 9. The cast also includes Annette Hunt, Stephanie Janssen, James Patrick Nelson and Anthony Newfield.
The staging is part of CSC's popular and acclaimed Chekhov Cycle, for which Pendleton directed Three Sisters and Uncle Vanya.
The engagement was originally announced to close on Nov. 25, but two weeks were added, to Dec. 9. The past Chekhov plays at CSC have traditionally sold out. Rylance, Maxwell, Morfogen and Zorich have each been featured in previous Chekhov Cycle offerings at CSC.
Ivanov has scenic design by Santo Loquasto, costumes by Marco Piemontese, lighting by Keith Parham and original music and sound by Ryan Rumery.
For more information, visit classicstage.org.
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