Theater News

Vanya and Sonia … Reading to Be Held With Original Cast

The one-night-only staged reading will take place on May 7 at the Vivian Beaumont Theatre.

Kristine Nielsen, Sigourney Weaver, David Hyde Pierce in <i>Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike</i>
Kristine Nielsen, Sigourney Weaver, David Hyde Pierce in Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
(© Paul Kolnik)

On Tuesday, May 7, Bartlett Sher (South Pacific) will direct a staged reading of Christopher Durang’s Tony Award-winning play Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, featuring original cast members Sigourney Weaver (Alien), David Hyde Pierce (Curtains), Kristine Nielsen (The Gilded Age), David Hull (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend), Shalita Grant (You), and Genevieve Angelson (The Handmaid’s Tale), as part of Lincoln Center Theater’s 2024 Gala. The reading will take place on the set of LCT’s upcoming production of Uncle Vanya at the Vivian Beaumont Theater. The gala will support Lincoln Center Theater’s productions and education programs.

LCT’s 2024 gala co-chairs will be Brooke Garber Neidich, Daniel Neidich, Sarah Long, and David Solomon. Vice-chairs include Katherine Farley and Jerry I. Speyer, Marlene Hess and James D. Zirin, Judy and Will Hiltz, Sandra and Howard I. Hoffen, Kewsong Lee and Zita J. Ezpeleta, and Elyse and Michael Newhouse.

Lincoln Center Theater’s original production of Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike ran from October 25, 2012-January 20, 2013, at the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater and then transferred to the Golden Theatre on Broadway where it ran for 201 performances, receiving the 2013 Tony Award for Best Play and the 2013 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Play. A McCarter Theatre Center commission, the production made its world premiere at the McCarter in 2012.

In the play, Christopher Durang takes characters and themes from Chekhov and mixes them up. In present-day Bucks County, Pennsylvania, Vanya (Hyde Pierce) and his stepsister Sonia (Nielsen) lived their entire lives in their family’s farmhouse, while their sister Masha (Weaver) became a successful actress and movie star, leaving Vanya and Sonia feeling trapped and regretful. Their soothsayer/cleaning woman Cassandra (Grant) keeps warning them about terrible things in the future, which include a sudden visit from Masha and her boy toy Spike (Hull), and an appearance by the young and beautiful Nina (Angelson).

Tickets start at $100 and $250 for the performance only. Gala tickets at the $500 and $1,000 levels include a cocktail party at Spike’s Lounge, in David Geffen Hall. Higher priced gala tickets (starting at $2,500) and tables (starting at $25,000) include a post-performance seated dinner with the cast at David Geffen Hall. In addition, a limited number of $35 seats will be available via digital ticket lottery, which will open on April 30.

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