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'Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike' to premiere Friday, March 13, directed by Tobias Andersen

PMG PHOTO: BRITTANY ALLEN - Masha (played by Cheryl Rudarmel-Beam) laments how she may be a big movie star but shes not a classical actress to Sonia (played by Anita Sorel) and Vanya (played by Jim Butterfield). Ever wonder what his plays would be like if Anton Chekhov just lightened them up a bit?

Well, Sandy Actors Theatre has found a play that makes parodies of some of the melancholy situations well-known in Chekhov's work. It's called "Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike" by Christopher Durang, coming to Sandy on March 13.

With characters given classic Chekhovian monikers and a heavy helping of angst, "Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike" is a comedy that finds the irony and piteous humor in the constant complaints of the four main characters.

"I'd heard about it and read about it and that made me want to perform it," said Anita Sorel, who originally was going to direct but now plays Sonia. "When I first read it, I just kept laughing. It's a wonderfully funny play."

After "Streetcar Named Desire" took the Sandy stage last year, the theater has pivoted to "a lighter season," and Sorel says this woeful-yet-witty satire perfectly fits that bill.

PMG PHOTO: BRITTANY ALLEN - Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike will premiere at Sandy Actors Theatre at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 13. On the surface and for those unfamiliar with Chekhov, the play follows the mishaps and misunderstandings of three adult siblings. For those more in the know about Russian theater, the play will offer an even deeper opportunity for laughs.

The play is appropriate for audiences ages 13 and older.

"You don't have to know Chekhov to think it's funny," Sorel said. "I'm hoping everybody can associate with the family in the play. We all feel unwanted, insecure, left out (at times) — who doesn't?"

Performances take place at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays, from March 13 to April 5.

Tickets are available online at or at the door.

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