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

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June 25, 2017 not born yesterday
tagged as: theatrespokenhere

What I liked

The set was simple and beautiful and much of the staging created an enigmatic effect that might have worked if one forgot about Chekhov’s original theme.

What I didn't like

Updating the play to present-day Palm Springs doesn’t work since the love affair between Nicky (Ivanov) and the heiress, Sasha, takes such an unexpected turn. Also, if it was being modernized, why are so many of the characters still Russian? It was difficult to understand the dialogue due to the heavy accents and throwaway lines by many of the actors.

My overall impression

Supposedly inspired by Anton Chekhov’s tragedy “Ivanov” this updated version is more Tennessee Williams than Chekhov. The actors were fine within this new context but the culture and prejudices of Czarist Russia do not translate to sunny California of today. The theme of “Nicky” suggests a man in torment over his finances and his sexuality and that is a totally new play.

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