Christopher Durang to Star in Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike at Bucks County Playhouse

By Adam Hetrick
March 30, 2014

Playwright Christopher Durang will take to the stage in the Bucks County Playhouse production of his Tony Award-winning comedy Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike in New Hope, PA.



Durang will portray Vanya in his Chekhov-inspired, Bucks County-set comedy that will also feature Marilu Henner (Chicago, "Taxi") as Masha. Sheryl Kaller (Mothers and Sons, Next Fall) will stage the production that will run July 17-Aug. 10.

Additional casting will be announced.

Critics and audiences responded warmly to the farce that began Broadway previews March 5, 2013, and officially opened March 14. It was twice extended. The production played a total of  201 Broadway performances when it ended its run last August. It has become a popular title for regional theatres since its Broadway run.

The play received six Tony Award nominations and won for Best Play. Original cast members David Hyde Pierce, Kristine Nielsen, Shalita Grant and Billy Magnussen were also Tony-nominated, as was director Nicholas Martin. Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike was also honored with the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Play and the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding New Broadway Play.

The original cast also featured Sigourney Weaver and Genevieve Angelson.

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 Why Torture Is Wrong, and the People Who Love Them.

Here's how the Broadway production was characterized: "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 (Magnussen), 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!"

More information can be found by visiting bcptheater.org.