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ensemble theatre · coeurage theatre company · Ages 16+ · world premiere · United States of America

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Review by MARK HEIN

June 17, 2017 theatre ghost, and better lemons
tagged as: Intelligent · witty · distressing · LONG.

What I liked

The intelligent adaptation, the skillful acting, the clean staging.

What I didn't like

(Small) Some actors need help in keeping their enunciation clear when speaking at an emotional pitch in dialect.
(Large) Alvarez needs to keep adjusting this text. He’s a playwright who takes on challenges, and can wrestle them to ground. He may not yet have “Nicky” pinned to the mat, but he can do it.

My overall impression

A clever adaptation of an early Chekhov play from rural Czarist Russia to Palm Springs. Well-staged and well-acted, with Coeurage Company’s usual professionalism,. But “Nicky” is dogged by the “Chekhov challenge” — how to connect us to people who are disconnected from themselves? Playwright Boni Alvarez comes close to solving it with easily recognizable younger characters, and revealing monologs for the older ones — but until we can feel more of what animates (or deadens) Nicky and Matthew and the other adults, two hours is an awfully long time to spend in their company.

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