Uncle Vanya | Chopin Theatre | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

Uncle Vanya Recommended Member Picks The Short List (Theater) Closing (Theater and Galleries)

When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through July 26 2009

In the middle of Anton Chekhov's 1897 masterpiece about dissipated Russians stranded on a provincial estate where they nurse impossible dreams, one of several subterranean romances almost breaks through to daylight. The iconoclastic Dr. Astrov--who fights to save Russian forests but detests his miserable peasant patients--discusses deforestation with Elena, a beautiful young woman who married a decrepit old writer in a moment of misguided self-sacrifice. They're convinced they're in love with each other, yet they talk of nothing but disappearing trees. Like practically every other moment in director Zeljko Djukic's remounting of his 2008 hit (named the Reader's Best Local Production in the Last Year), this one is both heartbreaking and ridiculous. The two hours Djukic and company spend submerging the script's titanic passions set up an explosive, debilitating, pathetic finale. --Justin Hayford

Price: $20-$25


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