The Cherry Orchard: the perfect theatrical meditation for Spring

Corina Akeson is playing Ranevskaya in The Cherry Orchard.

Corina Akeson is a serious—and seriously underused—talent, as she proves once again playing Ranevskaya in The Cherry Orchard.

Spring aches. So does this delicate production of The Cherry Orchard.

Spring is about beauty—cherry blossoms, for instance. It’s also about ephemerality: those blossoms don’t last and neither do our lives, loves, or ways of being.

It’s no wonder that playwright Anton Chekhov sets the opening scene of The Cherry Orchard in the early spring. The glamorous, aristocratic Ranevskaya is returning to her family’s estate in the country. She and her brother Gaev can’t afford to pay the mortgage and may lose the ancestral property. Lopakhin, a successful businessman whose father was a serf, suggests a way out: the family should cut down the estate’s wondrous but only fitfully productive cherry orchard and lease the land so that members of Russia’s growing middle class can build summer cottages on it. Ranevskaya’s response will lead to her downfall: “Summer cottages. Summer people. Forgive me, but it’s all so tawdry.” [Read more…]

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