An uniterrupted rehersal of Chekhov's "Uncle Vanya" played out by a company of actors. The setting is their run down theater with an unusable stage and crumbling ceiling. The play is shown act by act with the briefest of breaks to move props or for refreshments. The lack of costumes, real props and scenery is soon forgotten.Written by
I might not have ever seen this terrific film if it had not been for walking into the wrong theater. I was supposed to see screening of "A Night on Earth" during a local film festival, but I ended up in the middle of a screening of "Vanya on 42nd Street." I decided to stay and watch, not just because I had already seen "A Night on Earth" several times, but because I was curious when I saw Wallace Shawn & Andre Gregory on screen together in a film other then "My Dinner with Andre."
Don't be fooled and think that this film is simply a sequel to "My Dinner with Andre," because it is far from it. What you have here is a screen version of the stage play "Uncle Vanya" by Anton Chekhov, but with a twist. The cast is doing a rehearsal of "Uncle Vanya" in a rundown theater in the middle of NYC, to an audience of the director (Andre Gregory) and a few others. The film also includes breaks in the play for stage direction (acting as an intermission for the cast) as well as initial dialogue before and after the rehearsal. This also includes an amazing opening scene in which we see all the actors walking down 42nd Street in NYC heading toward the theater (literally appearing out of the crowdedness of NYC).
In addition to just seeing a fantastic version of "Uncle Vanya," you get some of the best acting performances in some time. Julianne Moore ("Boogie Nights") gets top billing being the best known cast member, but the film features some of the best performances by Wallace Shawn ("My Dinner with Andre"), Brooke Smith ("Series 7: The Contenders"), Larry Pine ("Dead Man Walking"), George Gaynes ("Police Academy" films), and stage actress Phoebe Brand. Even though I only mentioned a few, the entire cast is fantastic.
If you are in your local video store looking for something a bit unique, I highly recommend that you check out "Vanya on 42nd Street" for night of theater without leaving your house.
23 of 25 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this