‘Vanya, Sonia Masha and Spike’ opens

Published 10:08 pm Thursday, January 25, 2018

On Thursday night, the LaFayette Theatre Company held the opening performance of an award winning modern comedy about a dysfunctional family.

“Vanya, Sonia, Masha and Spike” won the 2013 Tony award for Best Play, and the Broadway performance was nominated for awards in six other Tony categories that year. Many themes from the Russian playwright Anton Chekhov’s works are present in the play, but audience members unfamiliar with Chekov will likely have just as much fun watching the play.

“The script is so much fun,” director Jeff Sargent said. “As actors and directors, we have to live with it for eight or 10 weeks, and it has not gotten stale. It is still fun, and we are still discovering things.”

Sargent first fell in love with the play while attending a performance at the Orlando Shakespeare Theatre, and he knew then that he wanted to bring the quirky play to LaGrange, where the cast seems to have fallen in love with the play as well.

“It is hilarious, but it has a very big heart,” said Shawn Morvay, who plays Vanya. “At its base, it has a big heart. It is a dysfunctional family, which I think a lot of people will identify to — if not all of it then certain parts of it — but in the end, family beats all, and I think that is going to identify with a lot of people.”

The play strongly contrasts some of the other recent productions that the Lafayette Theatre Company has performed for the characters of this play, things like Facebook and the “Entourage” movie are up for discussion or even debate.

“It is just so different from all of the other plays that we’ve done here at the LSPA,” said Ian Turner, who plays Spike. “It hits you from out of nowhere with this — oh, well the basic overtone is about family and coming together and deciding what’s happening — but all of the references are so nuanced and modern and quick. There is this whole thing at the end where we pick apart the isolation that has come from like Twitter and social media and Facebook and being separated.”

The Lafayette performance of “Vonya, Sonia, Masha and Spike” will feature all returning performers, including several crowd favorites who should be in fine form for the performance.

“I get the opportunity to be absolutely wacky,” said Carol Cain, who plays Cassandra. “My director, Jeff (Sargent), let’s me do that.”

Kimberly-Clark, Duracell, and Pediatrics Associates of LaGrange, P.C. are sponsoring the LSPA performance of “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.”

The play will be performed on Jan. 26 and 27 and Feb. 1, 2 and 3 at 7:30 p.m. There will also be a Sunday matinee showing on Jan. 28 at 3 p.m. The theater opens one hour before the show in order to give guests who wish to bring their own food and drinks the opportunity to enjoy them before the show. A cash bar will also be available prior to the start of the show and during intermission. Tickets cost $17 per person or $12 for students. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit Lsparts.org or call (706) 882-9909.