Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Cherry Orchard

photo: Joan Marcus

Sam Mendes' production of this Chekhov classic, which uses a new adaptation by Tom Stoppard, is a disappointment which fails to sound the needed notes of melancholy. The moments that ring true are few and far between: the talented cast, comprised of both British and American performers, doesn't register as a cohesive team, a problem that is compounded by staging that rarely creates the illusion that it's organic. Audiences coming fresh, without having seen another version before, might well question the play's reputation: the characters are reduced to stick figures.

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