A group of 15 or so of us gathered in the audience last night to see The Cherry Orchard. We partly gathered to see Chekhov, but mostly gathered to see Diane Lane. The show is still in previews and opens officially on October 16th. I get that in previews there can be some fine tuning and fixing to get the performance broadway ready, but I am afraid that what we saw is what you are going to get and I don’t think you want it.
Towards the end of the second act the Lopakhin, the serf turned wealthy businessman, refers to their lives as “sad and mediocre” and that pretty much summed up the show for me. It was sad to see everyone casting about in this dis-jointed farce/tragedy and the performances were all pretty much mediocre – like fall asleep in your seat mediocre (sorry Diane Lane).
I gleaned from Ann Haddad (via Facebook, truth be told) that she was equally puzzled by this performance and she went to onto say: “I have since read that Chekhov called it a comedy with elements of farce, Stanislavsky called it a tragedy, and directors ever since have struggled to find a balance between the two. That struggle is what I saw on Saturday evening.” Well said Annie. I don’t see them making peace with that struggle before October 16th. So I recommend you spend your time and money elsewhere. It will be interesting to see what the reviewers who get paid and published have to say about The Cherry Orchard.