What would Cole call Anton’s Cherry Orchard … what else…. DE-Lovely!
Mr. Chekhov and Mr. Porter at the Medicine Show Theatre
Mr. Chekhov and Mr. Porter,
Previews begin January 26; opening on January 31; running until February 24.
Wednesday-Saturday at 8pm and Sunday at 3pm.
The Medicine Show Theatre
549 West 52nd Street, NYC
For more information and reservations, call 212 262-4216.
To purchase tickets on line, go to www.chekport.brownpapertickets.com. TDF accepted
Mr. Chekhov and Mr. Porter takes its audience on a joyous romp through
one of history’s greatest playwrights by way of one of history’s greatest songwriters.
Written, directed, musically curated, and arranged by Janet Bentley and Andy Evan Cohen, Mr. Chekhov and Mr. Portermarries the sophisticated brilliance of Cole Porter’s music to the soaring dreams of Anton Chekhov’s deeply moving characters.
“Porter’s lyrics may seem lighter-than-air but the wit actually helps peel back the layers of repression and [forced] good manners in Chekhov’s characters to reveal the true emotions that lie under the surface. Whimsy, witty wordplay and profound silliness sometimes reveal the heart of the matter better than the most sincerely serious approach,” said Janet Bentley, the production’s director
“I hope that in the next world I shall be able to look back upon this life and say: ‘Those were beautiful dreams.” This quote from Chekhov may as well have come from a Cole Porter ditty like “Night and Day.”
The piece, conceived by Regan Vann Batuelo, is actually an homage to the beloved series of musicals, Mr. Shakespeare and Mr. Porter, that her late mother, Barbara Vann, created in the early 1990s. Ms. Vann co-founded the Medicine Show troupe nearly five decades ago. The seemingly odd combination of the Bard of Avon and the toast of Broadway came up in conversation among the company, fresh from an award-winning tour of Europe. Readying for a Porter musical, we thought, “Wouldn’t it be great if we had those songs with a classic writer?” “Like who, Shakespeare?” came the sarcastic answer. Thus was an off-off Broadway institution born.
Janet Bentley (Basement, After Tartuffe) is a rising star in the skyline of New York directors. She is joined by her collaborating partner, Andy Evan Cohen, (off-Broadway’s Dear Jane; Aquila Theatre’s Hamlet) who will serve as musical director. The talented cast includes Aran Beiderson, Bill Blechingberg, Demetrius Blocker (HBO’s Girls), Daniel Burns,Ivette Dumeng, Felix Gardon, Sam Durant Hunter, Justyna Kostek, Shea Madison, Molly Revenson, Cynthia Shaw, andMichelle Tsai.
The show sounds a light note among the serious and satirical works the company has been presenting in its Season of Russia. Starting in the fall with the 100th anniversary of the Bolshevik revolution, the troupe has examined the famines under Stalin, as well as some of the zaniest satires of the Communist era.
Medicine Show Theatre Ensemble is the longest continuously running experimental theatre company in New York City. The troupe offers alternatives to conventional theatre by playing with language, music, movement, form and ideas.