The Three Sisters: A Chekhov play on Long Island, this weekend and next weekend

The Three Sisters dance on the North ForkNorth Fork Community Theatre, in Mattituck, Long Island, will be showing Anton Chekhov’s The Three Sisters for two more weekends: November 12-14 and November 19-21, 2010. The Friday and Saturday evening shows begin at 8pm. The Sunday matinees are at 2:30pm. You can get tickets at: I went last weekend, and found it to be a great show! See review below.

Anton Chekhov is a Russian short-story writer and playwright. Among Chekhov’s plays are: The Seagull, Uncle Vanya, and The Cherry Orchard. He is known for using “theatre of mood” and a realistic, comedy of manners style. The Three Sisters was written in 1901. It is a play about life in a small, provincial town, and is thought to be partially inspired by the lives of the three Bronte sisters.

Kimberly’s Review:

The Three Sisters, playing at the North Fork Community Theatre  [NFCT] in Mattituck, Long Island, is engaging, profound, and full of hidden pleasures. It is worth going on a variety of levels, from insights into the revolutionary spirit, to the fun of a comedy of manners. This performance is directed by Tony Award winning actress Peg Murray, who has been working with the NFCT on a variety of levels over the years. Ms. Murray has chosen to condense four acts into two, insert a few bars of music, and explore the comedy vs. tragedy nature of the text. With these strategies, Ms. Murray has created a play that works, allows the characters to shine through, and will be very engaging for the entire audience and community.

Actor Jim Navarre with fan Kimberly Wilder

Kimberly Wilder and Jim Navarre

I heard about this performance because a colleague from the peace and justice community is one of the actors. While the play is not partisan or overtly political, it is worthy of attendance by civic minded people and progressives, because there are lots of  thoughtful speeches about change and hope. I would say that this play would nurture the spirit of any activist, revolutionary, or even just plain old dreamer. And, also cause them to think.

The Russian flavor was fun to experience, too. I took Russian in college, and I was amused and impressed by the way the actors put some friendly “pleases and thank yous” in Russian language to resonate with the setting. The props and costumes were also fun as eye candy and cultural reflection. The stage was appropriately lavish for the parlor of a Russian country estate around the time of 1901. And, I managed Setting the scene for snacksto capture a photo — not of the stage — but of the imaginative set-up for the snack bar at the back of the auditorium. An onion-dome-shaped sign announces coffee, written in the Russian Language, with two Matryoshka dolls nestled beneath the roses. I found the decorations a little extra does of culture and fun.

All of the actors were excellent. There was never a moment that betrayed the flow of the performance. Actress Deborah Marshall was in the role of Irina, and had the appropriate optimism and energy to shine as the youngest sister. Vershinin is an important character, and one of the bold love interests in the play: Tom LeMothe does an excellent job making his character’s motives, speeches, and charisma believable. Alan Stewart gets credit for portraying the brash Solyony, whose negative energy adds much of the tension to the plot. I was there to see Jim Navarre in the role of Lt. Tusenbach. Jim Navarre performed wonderfully, creating much empathy for his character. One of the stand-out performances was Lisa Dabrwoski as Natasha. Her character goes through a great transformation, and I was surprised at the great shift she pulled off from her opening scene until the very different manner of her character at the end of the play.

I am grateful to The North Fork Community Theatre for producing such an important play. “The Three Sisters” at NFCT was a worthwhile moment of enjoyment and reflection inserted into a November weekend. I highly recommend attending.

-Kimberly Wilder

Actor: Jim Navarre

Jim Navarre (plays Lt. Nicholai Tusenbach)

Jim Navarre: After the show

Smile! Jim Navarre (plays Lt. Nicholai Tusenbach)


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