Lincoln Center Theater's Platform Series, a forum for public discussion between Lincoln Center Theater artists and interested theatergoers, opens its 15th season tonight, November 1, at 6 pm with Christopher Durang and Nicholas Martin, the playwright and director of the new play VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE.
Platform Series events take place in the early evening in the lobby of the Vivian Beaumont Theater (150 West 65th Street). Admission is free and open to all; however, seating in the lobby is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis only, beginning at a half hour before the talk. (Speakers and schedules are subject to change. Call 212-362-7600 to confirm on the day of the event.)
In VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE, Durang takes characters and themes from Chekhov, pours them into a blender and mixes them up; the result is his latest play set in present day Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Vanya (David Hyde Pierce) and his stepsister Sonia (Kristine Nielsen) have lived their entire lives in their family's farmhouse. While they stayed home to take care of their ailing parents, their sister Masha (Sigourney Weaver) has been gallivanting around the world as a successful actress and movie star, leaving Vanya and Sonia to feel trapped and regretful. Their soothsayer/cleaning woman Cassandra (Shalita Grant) keeps warning them about terrible things in the future, which include a sudden visit from Masha and her twenty-something boy toy Spike (Billy Magnussen).
Christopher Durang's plays include A History of the American Film (Tony nomination), Sister Mary Explains It All For You (Obie Award), Beyond Therapy, Baby With The Bathwater, The Marriage of Bette and Boo (Obie Award and Guild Hull Warriner Award), Sex and Longing (produced by LCT), Laughing Wild, Betty's Summer Vacation (Obie Award), Miss Witherspoon (2005 Pulitzer Prize finalist) and, most recently Why Torture Is Wrong, and the People Who Love Them.
Nicholas Martin's LCT credits include Saturn Returns, The New Century, Observe The Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme, The Time of the Cuckoo and Chaucer in Rome. He's collaborated with Christopher Durang on Why Torture Is Wrong, and the People Who Love Them and Betty's Summer Vacation (Obie Award and Drama Desk nomination). His other Broadway and off-Broadway credits include Butley, Match, Hedda Gabler, You Never Can Tell, The Rehearsal, Fully Committed, Full Gallop and Sophistry.
LCT's next platform is scheduled for Thursday, November 29 at 6:00 pm with director Bartlett Sher and Walt Odets (son of playwright Clifford Odets) to discuss LCT's 75th Anniversary production of Odets' Golden Boy.
Lincoln Center Theater's Platform series was introduced in the summer of 1998. Transcripts of the previous talks are available on-line at www.lct.org.
Photo Credit: Walter McBride / Retna Ltd.