Chekhov, “Assassins” come to Playhouse, Circuit theaters in March

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Stephen Sondheim’s “Assassins” at Circuit Playhouse through March 22.

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Playhouse on the Square and its sister theater, Circuit Playhouse, will present a trio of shows in March.

At Playhouse, director Irene Crist (“The Diary of Anne Frank,” “Angels in America Parts I & II”) helms dueling productions of Anton Chekhov’s “The Seagull” and humorist Christopher Durang’s homage to the 19th century Russian writer, “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.” The plays are presented in repertory, alternating performances daily Thursdays-Sundays beginning March 12 through 29.

The first of Chekhov’s four major plays, “The Seagull” concerns famous, but aging, actress Irina Arkadina who is obsessed with a callous younger lover, dismissive of her son the frustrated playwright, and suspicious of an admiring ingénue. Christopher Hampton’s adaptation of Chekhov’s 1895 play lays bare its comedy and its cruelty in a household overflowing with creativity, fantasies of fame, jealousy, and unrequited love.

The 2013 Tony Award winner for Best Play, Durang’s “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike,” picks up the master’s classic themes of love and loss. Vanya and Sonia have frittered their lives away in their family’s Pennsylvania farmhouse full of regret and angst. When their self-absorbed movie star sister Masha visits with her prized 20-something boy toy Spike, the stage is set for an absurd weekend of general hilarity and sibling scorekeeping.

“The Seagull” features Playhouse on the Square resident company member Morgan Howard (“The Rocky Horror Show,” as Nina and associate company member Oliver Jacob Pierce (“Bad Jews”) as Konstantin. Michael J. Ewing will be making his Playhouse on the Square debut as Trigorin.

“Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” stars Playhouse on the Square resident company member Michael Gravois (“One Man, Two Guvnors,” “The Diary of Anne Frank”) as Vanya. Josh Tucker will be making his Playhouse on the Square debut as Spike.

Tamara Scott returns to the Playhouse on the Square playing roles in both plays — Arkadina in “The Seagull” and Masha in “Vanya ….” Playhouse audiences might remember her from her time as a Playhouse on the Square resident company member where she played memorable roles such as Viola in “Twelfth Night” and Janet in “The Rocky Horror Show.”

Playhouse has special discounted tickets for both shows. If tickets to both are purchased at the same time, they will be discounted to $45 or $30 for students, seniors, and military. The offer cannot be redeemed online.

Pay What You Can performances are Thursday, March 19 and Friday, March 20. Playhouse on the Square is located at 66 S. Cooper St.

Across the street, Circuit Playhouse has Stephen Sondheim’s “Assassins” through March 22.

The provocative winner of five Tony Awards in 2004 brings to the stage a (shooting) gallery of some of history’s most notorious players — the men and women who have attempted to kill American presidents. Set to a stylish Sondheim score, “Assassins” explores the underbelly of the American Dream through the lives, loves, and lunacy of nine American assassins, including John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, and Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme.

“Assassins” is directed by Playhouse resident company member Dave Landis (“Reefer Madness”), and features resident company members David Foster (“Mary Poppins”) as John Wilkes Booth and Carla McDonald (“Gypsy”) as Sara Jane Moore.

The Pay What You Can performance is Thursday, March 5th. Circuit Playhouse is located at 51 S. Cooper St.

For more information on any of the shows or to make reservations, please call 901-726-4656 or purchase tickets online at playhouseonthesquare.org.

Author: LampLighter

The voice of Cooper-Young, a vibrant, diverse neighborhood to live, work and play, in the heart of Midtown Memphis, Tennessee.

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