First Nighter: "Uncle Vanya" Misfires in More Ways Than One

September 22, 2014 3:38 AM

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During the intermission after the first uneven two acts of the Pearl Theatre Company's Uncle Vanya revival, I remarked to my astonished but extremely tolerant friend that Anton Chekhov's writing shines through no matter what is done to it.

When the production--using Paul Schmidt's somewhat colloquial translation--had ended, I took it back. I admitted to my wide-eyed companion that even deathless material can be consigned to a premature grave. Director Hal Brooks had just done it, especially having allowed the master playwright's third...

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