I saw Pavol Liska’s Three Sisters last night at CSC. As Culturebot readers know, we try not to do reviews. But I will certainly offer up a strong recommendation. This is a fantastic production! It is only playing until January 16th, so see it before it is gone. The staging is inventive and intelligent, the adaptation is hip, powerful and moving. Liska really opens the play up, dissects it and lays it all out on the table in front of you. So raw. Wonderful symbolism. And the performances are strong across the board. The casting of an african-american actress, Karen Koontz, as Natasha, is a bold and effective choice. And while I don’t want to single anyone out, I’m going to. Rebecca Henderson is absolutely incandescent as Masha. Her scenes with Vershinin (played with quirky, compelling compassion by Zachary Oberzan) are really intense and rich. And I hope I’m not giving too much away when I say that her performance in the scene where Vershinin tells Masha goodbye is so powerful as to astonish. It is simultaneously heart-rending and hilarious – just like life.
This production really gets to that heart of the idea and sentiment that human folly is both tragic and comic, often both at the same time.
Now, I will offer up the caveat that at least five people walked out of the performance, so it is obviously not to everybody’s taste. But if you’re familiar with this site and the work we talk about, then you probably already know the theatrical sources Liska draws upon, and if you don’t enjoy the show or agree with his interpretation, you will at least appreciate the stagecraft and dramaturgy.
Seriously. Go check this out.