Vineyard Theatre

presents

THE FOURTH SISTER

by JANUSZ GLOWACKI

 

Translated by EVA NAGORSKI and JANUSZ GLOWACKI
Directed by LISA PETERSON

Vineyard Theatre

108 E. 15 St.

NYC

(212) 353.0303

www.vineyardtheater.org

November 1 through December 8

Set Design RACHEL HAUCK

Costume Design MATTIE ULLRICH

Lighting Design KEVIN ADAMS

Sound Design JILL B.C. Du BOFF

Original Music GINA LEISHMAN

Fight Director RICK SORDELET

Press Representative SAM RUDY

With

Jase Blankfort, Bill Buell, Alicia Goranson, Jessica Hecht

Marin Hinkle, Daniel Oreskes, Lee Pace

Steven Rattazzi, Suzanne Shepherd, Louis Tucci

 

THE FOURTH SISTER exists in a sort of Russian bizarro world, where fantasy and reality coexist, and where the inspiration for the material is drawn from literary works ranging from Chekhov’s "Three Sisters" to "Cinderella." There is even a nod toward "Pygmalion," and a wink at a host of popular mafia stories. Campy and experimental, with a witty undertone of politics and current events, this creative play is a true mixed bag.

But, does it work?

Hmmm, there’s the rub. There is something missing here. There is no discernible centralized, unifying point. There is no eye of the storm. It seems that in the effort to add humor, the goal has been blurred. This does not mean that THE FOURTH SISTER is not entertaining. It is. However, the end result seems not to be a result of the actions that have led up to it, but rather a kitschy choice for an unexpected ending. Such choices can work quite well, but here, unless I have grossly missed the point, all of the light-toned banter that comprise 99% of the play were a deceptive devise employed only to heighten the philosophical position that there is no hope for the future.

If that sounds scary, it is only a few moments. The rest of the time, there is a lot of humor provided by the script and the cast. Here, three sisters in modern-day Moscow seek a better life. The sisters, vigorously portrayed by Alicia Goranson, Jessica Hecht and Marin Hinkle, fuel the action. One finds love in the arms of a doomed gangster. One steals food from circus animals for survival and has an affair with a director from the United States. The third becomes pregnant by a married politician. Then there is the "fourth sister," a young orphan made to serve the family. In this, the fourth sister, lies hope for the future…

THE FOURTH SISTER lies in that grey area of theater where an audience will certainly be more forgiving than a critic, surely focusing on the merits more than on the flaws. If you go for fun, you will surely find it.

- Kessa De Santis -

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