The local Waterworks Players theater company opened its performance of “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” on Friday, Oct. 14. The two and a half hour show follows the lives of two adult shut-in siblings, Vanya played as by Ed Kinman and Sonia played by Martha Womack.
Their psychic housekeeper, Cassandra, foretells the problems that will be brought on them by their successful sister, Masha as played by Daphne Mason. Masha is a successful actress with a boyfriend far too young for her, and has come for a visit that may soon prove unpleasant for Vanya and Sonia.
The Waterworks Players’ production of “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” is a delightfully bombastic one with the most memorable monologue being Vanya’s outburst at Spike, Masha’s boyfriend, played by Greg Tsigaridas over him texting at an inappropriate time. This went on just long enough in order for the time it occupied to become its own joke.
Other examples of how well the group performed their over the top acting came from The Rotunda’s own Miriam Loya, who played Cassandra. Her psychic predictions were made with a great deal of projection, allowing anyone to hear her.
All of this comedy, however, is not without its bluer moments as can be expected from a play in which the first two characters are shut-ins who have never had the opportunity to live their lives, there are bound to be some tear jerker moments.
Vanya and particularly Sonia, are both incredibly jealous of Masha for her success as an actress and her active love life whereas they have not had either of these. This is the primary catalyst for the conflict in this story, which is escalated as Masha reveals some of her own demons, showing us that her life of stardom is not all that it seems.
The actors made a great use of their set, which was just a single room in Vanya and Sonia’s house and a small patch of grass in front. One might have thought that such a small space to work with would create a rather boring dynamic. Instead, the performers kept moving in order to keep the scene appealing to the eye and to prevent it from becoming dull. The actors move outside of the house, disappear into the kitchen, run up the stairs and so on.
The Waterworks Players’ rendition of “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” will run on Friday, Oct. 21 and Saturday, Oct.22. Tickets are $12 and can be purchased online on the Waterworks Players website at http://waterworksplayers.org/.