PHOTO CALL: Tony Nominee Kristine Nielsen Honored with Sardi's Caricature
By Joseph Marzullo
Tony Award nominee Vanya and Sonia star Kristine Nielsen was surprised and honored Aug 21 with the unveiling of a caricature to adorn the walls of the famed eatery Sardi's.
Critics and audiences responded warmly to the farce that began Broadway previews March 5 and officially opened March 14. It was twice extended.
The play received six Tony Award nominations and won for Best Play. Cast members Kristine Nielsen, David Hyde Pierce, Shalita Grant and Billy Magnussen were also Tony-nominated, as was director Nicholas Martin. Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike was also honored this season with the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Play and the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding New Broadway Play.
Martin, who also helmed Durang's Why Torture Is Wrong and Betty's Summer Vacation, directed the production that had its world premiere at the McCarter Theatre Center in New Jersey earlier this fall, prior to a New York run that opened Off-Broadway Nov. 12, 2012, at Lincoln Center Theater's Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater.
The cast currently features Obie Award winner Nielsen (Betty’s Summer Vacation, Why Torture Is Wrong and The People Who Love Them) as Sonia, Tony and Emmy Award winner Pierce (Curtains, Spamalot, "Frasier") as Vanya, Tony Award winner Julie White (The Little Dog Laughed) as Masha, Creed Garnick as Spike, Liesel Allen Yeager as Nina and Grant (The Merchant of Venice at Shakespeare in the Park) as Cassandra.
Original cast members Sigourney Weaver, Magnussen and Genevieve Angelson departed the production earlier this summer.
Here's how it's billed: "Riffing on some of Anton Chekov's most time-tested themes, Christopher Durang proves in his hysterically funny and surprisingly affecting new romp, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, that whether you're in 19th Century Russia or 21st Century Pennsylvania, the human condition never changes. Vanya and Sonia have never left the confines of their childhood home – a rambling farmhouse in Bucks County, PA – while having to witness the glamorous exploits of their sister, Masha, a famous movie actress, from afar. A surprise visit from Masha and her 20-something boy toy, Spike, throws the normally quiet household int0 utter upheaval as its residents and visitors get swept up in an intoxicating mixture of lust, rivalry, regret, and the sudden possibility of escape. Only one thing is certain: no one will get out of this without looking absolutely ridiculous!"
The creative team also includes set designer David Korins, costume designer Emily Rebholz, lighting designer Justin Townsend, composer of original music and sound designer Mark Bennett.
Durang's plays include A History of the American Film (Tony nomination), Sister Mary Explains It All For You (Obie Award), Beyond Therapy, Baby With The Bathwater, The Marriage of Bette and Boo (Obie Award and Guild Hull Warriner Award), Sex and Longing, Laughing Wild, Betty's Summer Vacation (Obie Award), Miss Witherspoon (produced by McCarter Theatre Center, 2005 Pulitzer Prize finalist) and, most recently, Why Torture Is Wrong, and the People Who Love Them.
The Broadway run is produced by Joey Parnes, Larry Hirschhorn, Joan Raffe/Jhett Tolentino, Martin Platt & David Elliott, Pat Flicker Addiss, Catherine Adler, John O’Boyle, Joshua Goodman, Jamie DeRoy/Richard Winkler, Cricket Hooper Jiranek/Michael Palitz, Mark S. Golub & David S. Golub, Radio Mouse Entertainment, Shadowcatcher Entertainment, Mary Cossette/Barbara Manocherian, Megan Savage/Meredith Lynsey Schade, Hugh Hysell/Richard Jordan, Cheryl Wiesenfeld/Ron Simons, S.D. Wagner, and John Johnson, in association with The McCarter Theatre Center and Lincoln Center Theater.
For tickets visit Telecharge.com. The Golden Theatre is located at 252 West 45th Street.
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