Name-Checking Chekhov

Family almost always makes the best subject for ensemble comedies because it’s easy for anyone to relate to and it’s cathartic to laugh at the aggravating, frustrating exploits of a group of people who aren’t related to you. Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, the Tony Award-winning play being performed by the Uptown Players, draws from the dysfunctional themes of Anton Chekhov and throws them into a rat cage with an interesting mix of characters to see which of them can still hang on to their sanity by the final act. Playwright Christopher Durang presents them in the form of a pair of siblings living in rural Pennsylvania who are suddenly reunited with their movie-star diva of a sister and her ever-present dimwitted boy toy. The Uptown Players’ production opens at 8 p.m. Friday at the Kalita Humphreys Theatre located at 3636 Turtle Creek Blvd. in Dallas. Tickets are $30 to $45, and the show continues through March 9 with 8 p.m. performances Thursday through Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday matinees.
Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m. Starts: Feb. 14. Continues through March 9, 2014
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Danny Gallagher has been a regular contributor to the Dallas Observer since 2014. He has also written features, essays and stories for MTV, the Chicago Tribune, Maxim, Cracked, Mental_Floss, The Week, CNET and The Onion AV Club.