Vail Valley Theatre Company puts on ‘Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike’ | VailDaily.com

Vail Valley Theatre Company puts on ‘Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike’

Bart Garton
Stage Right

As these summer days become more dogged, may I suggest a brief respite in the fine arts of comedic theater? There's nothing like a good, richly layered play to remind you that our valley has fantastic options for enjoying cultural offerings beyond the beautiful rivers and mountains and trails.

Yes, we have Bravo! Vail, the Vail Dance Festival and the Vilar Performing Arts Center. But to realize that we have at our fingertips local talent that rivals that of any cosmopolitan city is a delightful revelation.

The Vail Valley Theatre Co. will present "Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike" on Thursday through Saturday, July 12-14, at Battle Mountain High School.

This show won the Tony Award for Best Play in 2013, and it's one of very few comedies to have that distinction. Written by Christopher Durang, with actresses Sigourney Weaver and Kristine Nielsen in mind for respective roles, the play became the darling of Broadway and a commercial success. Critics praised the show as a humorous adaptation of Chekhov themes that doesn't require familiarity with Chekhov.

The story is set in present day Pennsylvania at the home of three siblings: Vanya, his adopted sister Sonia and his blood sister Masha, who is a successful actress and travels the world. Returning home to attend a costume party at an influential neighbor's house, Masha brings with her a flurry of drama, an endless litany of insecurity and a much younger, gorgeous, dimwitted lover named Spike. And that's all I will reveal here. Suffice it to say, hilarity ensues with these and two other richly defined characters.

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This wonderful show will be directed by often time local Rober "RJ" Wagner.

This is the third production that he has directed for the Vail Valley Theatre Co. and he has starred in many of our productions (most notably: Brad Majors in the wildly popular "Rocky Horror Picture Show").

He currently is a full-time actor in Denver and also teaches acting for the stage. Making Durang's and Wagner's visions a reality is a fine cast (all supremely talented locals) consisting of Aaron Szindler, Cindy Lawrence, Donna Troiani, J.D. Morris, Zoe Thrasher and Mollie McCoy. This full cast and crew give "Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike" substance, relevance and craftsmanship that would make Broadway proud.

I highly recommend you take some time for yourself this weekend and enjoy a funny play that has genuine emotion. You'll be glad you did.

Bart Garton is a longtime local and a member of the Vail Valley Theatre Co .

If you go …

What: Vail Valley Theatre Company presents “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.”

Where: Battle Mountain High School, Edwards.

When: Thursday through Saturday, July 12-14.

Cost: $20.

More information: Visit http://www.vailtheatre.com.