The Seagull lowers you into a pool of sharks who seem as eager to cannibalize themselves as others. The self-enraptured quality of most of the characters occasionally makes this claustrophobic vacation comedy feel like shop talk in the worst way--a late-19th-century artist gossiping about the frailties of his contemporaries, which (surprise!) are much like the frailties of creative men and women today. The finale suggests that artistic fulfillment is worth dying for. I don't disagree, but must everyone do so much whining on their way to martyrdom?