Pre-Thanksgiving Fun @ The Cherry Orchard
I couldn’t think of a more appropriate play to take in before the Thanksgiving holiday than The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov. I knew it was be pretty dry, but the cast sounded too great to pass up. I showed up to the American Airlines Theatre last Wednesday around 2pm and took my seat in the last row of the orchestra.
I read the description in the Playbill, and the breakdown of the family members, so I had some idea of what I was getting into (tl;dr: A Russian family is going broke and losing the estate that they’ve lived on for generations). Sadly, Joel Grey was out that day, but I was still really excited to see Diane Keaton, as well as Tavi Gevison and Celia Keenan-Bolger. Oh, and Chuck Cooper, too.
The script was as dry and depressing as expected. The sets and lighting were lovely and mesmerizing. The performances were stellar. I can’t decide whether Keaton was great or overacting, because her character is a little delusional and crazy (think: a Russian Blanche duBois) so it was hard to tell. I still enjoyed watching her regardless. Keenan-Bolger and Gevinson were more compelling, though that might be because their characters were just more interesting to me. Then there was Chuck Cooper. who played a Russian businessman who knows the family. I love him in any and everything and he can do no wrong. Philip Kerr, who was on for Joel Grey, was whimsical with great comedic timing. Honestly, I can’t figure out why Grey would take a small, supporting role, but as great as he may be, I enjoyed Kerr a lot.
Roundabout has put on a stunning production with a stellar cast of a slightly boring Chekhov play. But hey, I knew what I was getting myself into when I took my seat. If you love this kind of play, this is a great production to see.
This article, about Jessie Mueller, was really adorable. I highly suggest you read it. I’m sure she was totally excited to do this interview this morning after partying all night at the Carlyle 😉
The top moments from last night:
- A Gentleman’s Guide winning Best Musical. Obviously. (Full disclosure: my current office of employment works on the show so we were all incredibly happy.)
- Hedwig’s performance. it was the best (GGLAM following a close second!). Hedwig is going to be sold out for their entire run soon. Mark my words.
- Lena & NPH winning their much deserved awards.
- Bryan Cranston and All the Way winning. Love that show.
- Jessie Mueller’s acceptance speech. She was so sincere.
Let’s see, last night’s WTF moments were as follows:
- The Wicked performance. That was the best they could do? Come on. Idina Menzel was in the house – throw her $10k to perform Defying Gravity. She’s a single mom now, so she could probably use the extra money, right? (No, I’m just being an asshole and I’m completely kidding. I think she makes upwards of $20k/week for If/Then, she’s fine.) This performance was a waste of time and a dishonor to a show that’s been on Broadway and selling out for 10 years.
- The Music Man rapping. WHAT WAS THIS? Everyone at the party was speechless. We had no idea what was going on.
- Nikki James in Les Miserables. Jesus christ. When is she scheduled to go on vacation because I cannot sit through a production of Les Miserables for three hours where Eponine sounds like a, and I quote, bag of dying babies. Miscast, indeed.
- Celia Keenan-Bolger and The Glass Menagerie losing. WHAT? This was not supposed to happen. Wires got crossed somewhere.
- The opening number. Look, I get it, I read online today why Hugh Jackman was hopping, but even if I’d gotten the reference when I was watching it, it was still incredibly boring. It was one of the most lackluster openings in a while.
It wasn’t the best Tony’s, but it had it’s moments. I was exhausted and made my way home around midnight. It’s always worth the exhaustion.
Taking Her Tony Home