(Michael Sommers’s article appeared in The New York Times, 2/6; via Pam Green.)

It is not essential to know the Russian plays of Anton Chekhov to like the all-American charms of “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike,” Christopher Durang’s amiable comedy about a wacky weekend spent in Bucks County with three middle-aged siblings and a boy toy.

Such knowledge lends extra fun to the proceedings, but Mr. Durang’s contemporary story and his quirky characters are sufficiently humorous to make the current production in Millburn at Paper Mill Playhouse a mostly pleasing diversion.

A mash-up of elements from Chekhov’s most popular works, the play rambles along in a Pennsylvania country house where Vanya (Mark Nelson) and his adopted sister Sonia (Michele Pawk) have been rusticating for years in fondly squabbling harmony.


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