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CHEKHOVEK OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS
Opening Night: February 7, 2012
Synopsis: Chekhovek, with new music composed by Jonathan Talbott, brings the short fiction genius of the Russian master to the stage with nine of his most famous and theatrical stories performed by five actors and one musician.
NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW:
"There’s much to admire in “Chekhovek,” but only a little to enjoy. The play, an adaptation of nine Chekhov short stories, features two hours of smart performances and skillful production. Yet sometimes all that talent supports an experiment that’s more intriguing in theory than in execution."
""Chekhovek" is like a slim, nicely drawn picture book depicting nine carefully selected short stories by Anton Chekhov (out of the hundreds he wrote). It's a respectful if not very gripping distillation of work by a writer who was as masterful with this prose form as he was with plays. Melania Levitsky, who both adapted the stories from the standard early English translations by Constance Garnett and directed, has assembled the show as a series of eight self-contained episodes, with scenes from another story, "The Lady With the Dog," one of Chekhov's best known, interwoven throughout the performance. As it unfolds, it provides the proceedings with a semblance of a through-line."
"Anton Chekhov is best known for four of the greatest plays in Western theater, but he was also a prolific and versatile writer of shorter works, ranging from sharp parodies to short stories that are multifaceted and poetic studies of human behavior. Melania Levitsky has adapted nine of those stories into Chekhovek, a two-act theater production now at the ArcLight Theatre."
"The good news about Chekhovek, The Actors’ Ensemble and GoShow Entertainment’s adaptation of nine short stories by the Russian master Anton Chekhov, is its respectful treatment of a form which too often (if understandably) gets overlooked by the theater in favor of his plays. Director and story adapter Melania Levitsky clearly understands the theatrical potential in all of Chekhov’s work, and she deserves a great deal of credit for bringing the lesser known work to the stage. I’m not convinced, though, that the execution quite matches the vision. Ultimately, the respectfulness of the presentation may take away more than it gives. "
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