A fast paced exploration of the dynamics of the relationship between
the lover and the loved one who loves another, complicated by the
fact that the lover is the writer and the other his lead actress. That each of the variations is derived from the same scene from Chekhov is an
oversimplification as there is little of the repetitiveness that I expected.
Instead there is a slow accretion of knowledge as more is revealed about
In the original both characters are played throughout by the same two actors; in this production the parts are shared among three Ninas and three Treplevs (who are almost always performing as a single pair) which creates additional interest in seeing how they develop their characters and the re...
I like to read Chekhov's work as an elevated, loving satire; a pastiche culled from societal archetypes and peculiar lazzi performed by gathered folks as per propriety's dictate. Clearly, I'm no Chekhovian scholar (and never will be, my God, there's much wonderful junk on television), but I found it interesting that this piece more or less reflects that reading.
I mean none of this to appear pejorative. The Nina Variations casts six incredibly attractive, young people giving Los Angeles Actor interpretations of a Playwrighting 201 class project of 42 variations of the last Nina/Konstantin scene (and, at times, underlying arc) in the Seagull. The mere event of attending this piece is so layered with symbolism - intentional and unintentional ...
I was incredibly impressed with this production of the Nina Variations, which I've never seen before. I have to embarrassingly admit too that I've never seen a staged production of the Seagull - only read it. But you don't have to have seen or even read it to enjoy this show. Well acted, well directed and I even especially loved the costumes! Loved it....
I'm a Fringehead...no, that's not it.
The sparkling cast and crisp direction are what really make this show shine. I wouldn't say it just helps to know Chekhov's Seagull--it's essential to understanding and appreciating much of what Steven Dietz is trying to accomplish with his reconfiguration and exploration of the ill-fated Nina and Treplev. I must confess, the action in the scenes wasn't always clear to me, and I know The Seagull quite well. But there are many bright and clever moments, and the actors really take the material and run with it. And Dietz's playful approach to the source material is by turns charming, illuminating, and moving. I'm eager to see more from this young company of actors....