Guess who’s back. Back again.
Ahh how I missed America. Italy was beautiful and all, but you can only spend so much time with your parents before you decide that getting shot in the foot with a BB gun sounds more appealing than another tour around some churches and abandoned crumbling rocks. No hard feelings, Colosseum. You’re still pretty rad.
But truthfully I’m excited to be back because that means I’m not so far away from my beloved Broadway! I was seriously starting to express the early stages of withdrawal. I spent my 9 hour plane ride home listening to the Catch Me if You Can soundtrack and fast forwarding through Les Mis just so I could hear Aaron Tveits gorgeous voice. I have a disease.
Being in Italy also caused me to miss the Tony Awards – which, if you know me at all, you’d realize is my second Christmas. The obvious choice once I got over my depression was to watch the whole show in the form of Youtube clips the next day. Upon scouring the winners’ list like a hawk, I was absolutely thrilled to see the winner for Best Play: Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike. Just listen to a review by the voice of the one and only Honey Badger.
I had seen this show with my mom at the very beginning of its run in the spring and we were rolling on the floor with laughter by the closing bows. Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike – or as I like to call it, “the show that forgot how commas work in
long lists” – is a play (not a musical) about three middle-aged siblings, two of whom live in a cute forest cottage. The third sibling is a movie star named Masha (played by the incomparable Sigourney Weaver) who arrives at her brother and sister’s cottage with her 20-something midlife crisis of a boyfriend, Spike. Meowww cougar alert.
The play bounces between Vanya and Sonia, who think they have not done enough in their lives and are becoming old and boring, and Masha, who is rabid with jealousy when the young neighbor begins talking to Masha's also ridiculously young beau.
It’s impossible to decide which character is my favorite. I’ve had a talent-crush on Sigourney Weaver ever since I saw her as the Warden in Holes. Girl is 63 years old and she looks bangin’. If I can be half as funny, talented, and hot as she is by the time I turn 60, I can die happy.
Then there was Vanya, played by Broadway superstar David Hyde Pierce. He’s just the epitome of a really cool dude. This clip from Spamalot should prove my point.
He had the most explosive shouting monologue in this play that was so genius it literally shook the theater with laughter.
Then comes Spike. First of all, that name is hilarious on its own. Second of all, those abs. Third of all, this character is dumb as a brick and absolutely scene-stealingly hilarious. Fourth of all THOSE ABS.
Last, but certainly not least, my personal favorite: Cassandra. Cassandra is Vanya and Sonia’s housekeeper who sidelines as a voodoo priestess. I can’t even put into words how hysterical her performance was. This actress put her entire body and soul into this part and didn't care how crazy she looked, skyrocketing that role into utter perfection.
The play is definitely geared towards an older crowd but it’s not at all ungraspable for the college generation and beyond. I highly recommend this show, although I’d rush to see it before the original cast leaves since I really can’t see it being as amazing without this smorgasbord of acting heavyweights. (That sentence was also a shameless excuse to use the word "smorgasbord." Sorry I'm not sorry.)
Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike is playing for a limited run at the Golden Theatre until August 25.
Screenshots by Samantha Costanza/Gavel Media