Tuesday, August 30, 2011

"The Cherry Orchard"

Zoe Wanamaker as Madame Ranevskaya in Anton Chekhov’s “The Cherry Orchard” at The National Theatre, London.

To be blunt, Wanamaker stunk. The whole production stunk.

Wanamaker is uglier than sin, which did not contribute to our enjoyment of the evening.

The production has closed since we attended the August 6 evening performance.

“The Cherry Orchard” performance we attended was sold out. That fact doesn’t speak well for London audiences or London critics (who largely heaped praise on the production). The production should have been booed to the rafters.

I cannot help but observe that Ben Brantley of The New York Times, whom I do not generally admire, likened the London “Cherry Orchard” production to Stephen Sondheim’s “Follies”, referring to the London “Cherry Orchard” staging as “that Chekhov play about aging vaudevillians who get together to put on one last show”.

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