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  Three Sisters at Piven Theatre

Three Sisters

Piven Theatre
927 Noyes Street Evanston

The Three Sisters by Anton Chekhov depicts an entire village of unlucky lovers struggling with the bittersweet distance between reality and dreams. This classic tale is given another look in a new version adapted by Sarah Ruhl, one of America’s most acclaimed young playwrights, and author of In the Next Room (or the vibrator play),

Thru - Nov 21, 2010

Price: $15-$25

Show Type: Drama

Box Office: 847-866-8049

  Three Sisters Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Somewhat Recommended

"...Here, you feel rather like you are sitting in on a very advanced scene-study class. You get the sense that Piven is fascinated in different ways by all of these actors, many of whom she has worked with for years. You can understand why. And it is not without its rewards for the audience, but you never fully buy that everyone here is occupying the same world. One, I might add, that really hasn't changed so much."
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Chris Jones

Chicago Sun Times - Somewhat Recommended

"...Each of these people is in a different stage of adulthood (and disillusionment). And all of them -- along with a collection of other lost souls, servants and the military men who have been posted in this Russian backwater town but are about to move on -- have the sense that everything around them is in flux. They also know that suffering and disappointment are the essential ingredients of human existence."
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Hedy Weiss

Time Out Chicago - Somewhat Recommended

"...Certain cast members exhibit a potent pathos: Daniel Smith’s strapping Vershinin and Saren Nofs-Snyder’s Hepburn-esque Masha exude a primed, sensual energy in their scenes together. But the production actively undercuts these rare moments of human connection. The set itself—featuring an upstage platform that separates the downstage monologues from the background action—erases the brilliant tension that usually emerges in Chekhov’s fraught and awkward group scenes. Airy, heaven-bent monologues are this production’s lifeblood; unfortunately, they mostly dissipate."
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Christopher Shea

ShowBizChicago - Recommended

"...When the soldiers and sisters stand together for a photograph, we’re given a brief, silent moment to reflect. It is a quiet reminder that their lives together are fleeting, and that attempts to comprehend the present are futile. And why pretend to know the future? Piven’s “Three Sisters” is noteworthy for the answers it doesn’t provide, and leaves us with an open ended ballet of hope and longing."

Dan Jakes

ChicagoCritic - Recommended

"...John Fenner Mays, as Chebutykin, Andy Hager as Tuzenbach were equal to the riveting effective work from Joanne Underwood (Olga), Saren Nofs-Snyder (Masha) and Ravi Batista (Irina). This is a polished production with fully developed characters that gives the ‘melodies’ to Chekhov’s text showing the strength and defiance of the sisters hemmed in by the conventions of Russian society.  The acting  will amaze you."
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Tom Williams

Chicago Stage Standard - Somewhat Recommended

"...We hear clashes of ideology, as characters ponder the meaning of life, happiness, the futility of the present and the possibilities of the future.  Love, adultery, melancholy, loyalty and idealism are some of the themes Chekhov explores to often pondering lengths.  The Piven production looks good, despite an uneven cast.  Ultimately, what you take away from this production may depend on your feelings about its playwright and all his petty bourgeois characters.  These "Sisters" left me feeling nearly as bored and restless as the characters on stage. "

Joe Stead

Around The Town Chicago - Somewhat Recommended

"...There are some fine performances in this play. Dave Belden , as Andrei, the brother to these three sisters and Amanda Hartley Urteaga as his wife Natasha,  Andy Hager did a wonderful job in the comic role of Tuzenbach who desires Irena and offers to marry her despite her telling him that she cannot love him. Jay Reed, John Fenner Mays, Jacob Murphy, Kathleen Ruhl ( yes, the mother of the writer), Daniel Smith,Marcus Davis, Kevin D’Ambrosio and Brent T. Barnes round out the rather large cast for such a small venue, While there was some confusion in some of the scenes as to where people were going, if you enjoy the Chekov style of melodic writing and or this play in particular, this will be a  different look at a classic. If you are not into Chekhov or Russian historical plays, this may not be your cup of tea. Either way, understand that Act One is very slow allowing us to get a better insight into our characters and their relationships. If you make it through the first act, act tow will be divine."
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Alan Bresloff

Chicago Theater Beat - Recommended

"...Director Joyce Piven uses the space beautifully, crafting spatial relationships to build tension between characters that explode when they finally come together. Solyony (Jay Reed), the play’s most combustible character, hates everything and never backs down from an argument, his intense misery venturing into comedic territory in its exaggeration. His love for Irina, a love shared by Baron Tuzenbach (Andy Hager), is unreturned by the youngest sister, who is more concerned with discovering fulfilling work than a man. Batista gives an emotionally resonant performance, especially as Irina begins to understand the kind of work available to her in town, but there’s a maturity in her voice and carriage that takes away from the character’s youthful energy. There is an early moment when Vershinin describes the sisters’ old home in Moscow and the older two’s faces become teary-eyed at the memory while Irina struggle to recapture the image, likely too young to truly remember. It’s a small moment, but it helps solidify her position in the trinity."

Oliver Sava

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