Sunday, February 1, 2015

Thr3e Zisters, Salvage Vangard Theatre

Thr3e Zisters is Lola Pierson's zombie adaptation of Chekov's Three Sisters. This show is more than a re-imagining of a theatre classic, but also investigates how actors and directors approach Chekov, what it means to play these roles, and how women are represented.

Olga, Irina, and Masha are dug up again from their graves to do yet another show. The zombie women are caressed, inspected, and told how to behave by the "show's" producers/artistic team. They are unenthusiastic, but do not resist and seem resigned to playing along. However, through the new lens of the show, we see that the sisters, instead of being psychologically tortured and abandoned, physically torture the men. Masha pours hot wax in Vershinin's back, Irina inspires Tusenbach to whip himself, and then rides him around the stage, and Olga calmly entices but does not yield to Soleny. These women, and the women who play them, are powerful and dynamic and in complete control. Heather Hanna is especially exceptional, delivering her lines deliberately and precisely. Robert Matney, who plays Andrei and is a part of the male ensemble, welcomes the audience with a concise and humorous synopsis of the original Three Sisters.

Robert Fisher's sound design is truly phenomenal, and is best highlighted when the zombie sisters are "acting" and move disjointedly across the stage to the sound of a disrupted record. Ia Enstera's sets are always breathtaking, and this one is no exception; the facade of the house sweeps back and forth across the stage.

For theatre-patrons, theatre-makers, and theatre-performers, this show is a breath of fresh air, questioning why do we always revert to the same "classic" texts when trying to scrape together a new season. I do have to wonder how accessible this show is to someone who may not have seen much theatre and may not be familiar with Chekov's works. Regardless, everyone will love and scream in delight at the delightfully gory zombie rampage. Pierson's written a beautiful conceptually dense show that keeps its message concise, and director Yury Urnov has done a graceful and eloquent job getting this show on its feet and into the space. This is one that will definitely keep you thinking after you see it.

Runs until February 14th, Thursday nights are Pay-What-You-Can

Location: Salvage Vangard Theatre, off of Manor Rd.

Parking: Lot parking, some street parking off of Manor

Dining: Take your pick from all of the fantastic places off of Manor, you won't have to go far to find what you're looking for.

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