APEX comedy with Chekhovian twist opens

Published on Thursday, 14 August 2014 21:36 - Written by Cory McCoy Special Correspondent

“Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” is an irreverent tale of the insecurities and regrets that begin to catch up with people later in life. The most recent play from Actor’s Preparatory Exchange debuted off Broadway in 2012.

Interwoven in the jokes are references to Anton Chekhov, whose literary works the title characters are named after.

“VSMS” stars Felicity Enas as Masha, Chris Abraham as Vanya, Sharon Trowell as Sonia, Hunter Regian as Spike, Holly Garrison as Nina and Jackie McDonald as Cassandra.

One does not need to be a fan of Chekhov’s work to appreciate the play, but it certainly doesn't hurt. Playwright Christopher Durang infuses references throughout the story like a love letter to his idol.

“Durang has written a play that will entice audiences to see a full Chekov play,” said Enas, who also is directing. “His clever placements of quotes and situations from Chekovian plays give this comedy an added dimension. I hope that ‘VSMS’ will encourage young thespians to read the classics.”

The story begins with Vanya and his sister, Sonia, bickering over coffee while the sun rises over their picturesque childhood home. Sonia, who can't risk letting anyone forget that she's adopted, feels complacent, as if her life never really began. While their movie-star sister, Masha, was gallivanting around the globe, they were stuck at home taking care of their elderly parents.

Vanya, the peacekeeper, finally calms his sister, only to find out that she forgot to mention that Masha would be visiting. The siblings panic, frantically getting ready, but Masha has already arrived and she isn't alone.

She's brought her young boyfriend, Spike, an actor, albeit a less successful one. Regian plays Spike with a mix of air-headedness and conniving. He may be with Masha, but he's certainly paying a lot of attention to their oblivious neighbor, Nina, who is utterly starstruck by Masha and fails to see that her presence is causing Masha’s sudden odd behavior.

Next up for APEX will be “Undercurrent”, featuring all new music and their monthly Bohemian Variety shows. The next variety show is scheduled for Aug. 29.