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Christopher Durang’s Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike Opens at Goodman Theatre

Steve Scott directs the Chicago Premiere of the Tony Award-Wining Broadway Smash

Ross Lehman, Janet Ulrich Brooks, Mary Beth Fisher and Jordan Brown star in the title roles, along with Chicago favorites E. Faye Butler and Rebecca Buller

CHICAGO, IL – Hilarity and sibling rivalry and middle-aged regret and complexities of a culture evolving faster than its citizens are themes that take center stage in Christopher Durang’s Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike—the Tony Award-winning Broadway smash hit that has since become the most-produced play in the country. Goodman Theatre produces the Chicago premiere—and the first Durang play in its history—directed by Artistic Associate Steve Scott, who has overseen more than 200 Goodman productions during his 33 years as the theater’s Producer. Hailed “deliriously funny” (The New York Times) and “hugely entertaining” (USA Today), the “brainy and witty and clever and cute” (Variety) play follows two sullen siblings and the wild weekend that unfolds when their famous sister returns home with her hunky young boy toy. Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike runs through July 26 in the Albert Theatre. Tickets ($25-$86; subject to change) are on sale now at GoodmanTheatre.org/Vanya, by phone at 312.443.3800 or at the box office (170 North Dearborn). Headshots and bio information can be found in the Goodman Theatre Press Room. The Northridge Group and Ogletree Deakins are the Opening Night Sponsors of Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.

“A great comic writer who is authentically and proudly offbeat, Christopher Durang has become one of the foremost contemporary American playwrights through a body of work that has been variously described as absurdist, iconoclastic and hilariously surreal,” said Artistic Director Robert Falls. “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike has brought him widespread acclaim, and deservedly so; it contains much of the loopy wit and idiosyncratic vision that marked his early works—but uses those elements to explore universal themes. My longtime Goodman associate Steve Scott has assembled a dream cast for this Chicago premiere production, and I am delighted to introduce audiences to an artist who is a true original.”

Playwright Christopher Durang’s works include A History of the American Film (Tony Award nomination, Best Book of a Musical); The Actor’s Nightmare; Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You (Obie Award); Beyond Therapy, Baby with the Bathwater; The Marriage of Bette and Boo (Obie Award and Dramatists Guild Hull Warriner Award); Laughing Wild; Durang/Durang; Sex and Longing; Betty’s Summer Vacation (Obie Award); Mrs. Bob Cratchit’s Wild Christmas Binge; Adrift in Macao; Miss Witherspoon (Pulitzer Prize finalist) and Why Torture is Wrong, and the People Who Loved Them.

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike earned unanimous acclaim in its 2013 Broadway debut; awards included the Tony Award for Best Play, the Outer Circle Critics Award for Best Play, the Drama League Award for Best Production of a Play, the Drama Desk Award for Best Play, the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Production and the Off-Broadway Alliance Award for Best Play.

Siblings Vanya (Ross Lehman) and Sonia (Janet Ulrich Brooks) have spent their adult years trapped in mundane lives at their family’s cottage, caring for their ailing parents. Meanwhile, their self-involved sister Masha (Mary Beth Fisher), a glamorous movie star, has traveled the world in decadent style. After their soothsayer/cleaning woman Cassandra (E. Faye Butler) warns Vanya and Sonia of impending doom, Masha arrives unannounced, accompanied by her young lover Spike (Jordan Brown), who sparks a friendship with the beautiful girl next door Nina (Rebecca Buller) much to Masha’s dismay. When Masha reveals plans that will upend the family, long-repressed resentments bubble over in a weekend full of wild costume parties, voodoo dolls and surprise romance. The creative team includes Charlie Corcoran (sets), Amy Clark (costumes), Robert Perry (lights) and Richard Woodbury (sound). Alden Vasquez is the production stage manager and Neena Arndt is the dramaturg.

Steve Scott (director) is the Producer at Goodman Theatre and a member of the Goodman’s Artistic Collective; his directing credits include Horton Foote’s Blind Date, Rabbit Hole, Dinner with Friends, Wit and the 2011 and 2012 productions of A Christmas Carol. He has also directed for a wide variety of Chicago theaters including Northlight, Silk Road Rising, Next Theatre Company, Shattered Globe, Redtwist, Porchlight, Theatre Wit, Buffalo Theatre Ensemble, Eclipse and the Lyric Opera Center.  He is a faculty member at the Theatre Conservatory of the College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University, a board member of Season of Concern and a member of the Jeff Committee’s Artist and Technical Team.  He has also served on advisory panels for Theatre Communications Group, United States Artists, the O’Neill Center, National Endowment for the Arts, the Illinois Arts Council and the Chicago Office of Fine Arts. He is the recipient of six Jeff nominations, an After Dark Award, the Illinois Theatre Association’s Award of Honor, and the Eclipse Theatre’s Corona Award.

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