Sunday, October 18, 2015

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike...and more!

My second visit to Aurora Theatre totally reinforced my original opinion of the venue. It's fantastic! This time I went to see Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, a co-production with Horizon Theatre. This story showcases brilliant writing and the acting is superb! You will find yourself experiencing a wide range of emotion...laughter, sentiment, introspection, but mostly laughter.

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike | Aurora Theatre
Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike | Aurora Theatre

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike is running at Aurora Theatre, finishing on Sunday, October 25, so you have a whole week to see this magnificent play!

Why should you see Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike? The description on the Aurora Theatre website says it best, and succinctly: 

"Melancholy turns into mayhem when Vanya and his sister, Sonia—along with their clairvoyant housekeeper, Cassandra—are paid a surprise visit by their movie star sibling, Masha, and her boy-toy, Spike. This zany new comedy that took Broadway by storm in 2013 borrows characters and themes from Chekhov, pours them into a blender and mixes them up–and the results are an utterly hilarious and occasionally touching story of regret, sibling rivalry, and growing older."

This was my second time seeing the show, and I'd see it again in a heartbeat! 

One of my favorite scenes in the play was William S. Murphey's (Vanya) tirade contrasting his generation (closer to my own) against that of today's generation (Millennials). It was moving in so many ways, and while I cherish my childhood memories, I don't think younger generations are all that different from any preceding generation. Every generation is'd be naive to think otherwise. But nostalgia can be great fun.

Tess Malis Kincaid (Masha) was by far the most transformed personality in the play. She left home to pursue an acting career and returns with Spike, and a totally self-centered plan for a costume party! But as they say, things change. Then there's Masha's nemesis Cassandra, performed by Denise Arribas, who is definitely the more animated personalities on're going to laugh so hard!

The icing on the cake on this particular visit to Aurora Theatre was getting to meet so many of the cast after the show. We thoroughly enjoyed talking with Lala Cochran (Sonia) and Edward McCreary (Spike). 

LaLa is just as hilarious in real life as she is on stage. We enjoyed quite a few laughs and she was anxious to hear what we thought about the performance...we raved, of course. When we told Edward that that evening was the third time we've seen him perform (Memphis), he was cheerful and grateful. I love it when stars make time to enthusiastically speak with true fans.

Five of the six actors also performed in the Horizon Theatre show. In the Aurora Theatre production, India Sada Tyree performed the role of Nina, the visiting from out-of-town neighbor who catches Spike's eye. It turns out that Barry, my best friend who went with me, and India are both from Virginia and both went to Old Dominion University! India is an apprentice with Aurora and I wish her great success!

If you think this sounds like an awesome play, and it is, then start to ponder the drive to Lawrenceville, consider this...     

Atlanta Magazine recently published an interview with restaurateur Ryan Pernice, who owns and operates two restaurants in Roswell, just outside of Atlanta. While he's speaking to Metro Atlanta's dining experiences, I'm in full agreement with him as it applies to being a tourist, local or visiting: "you’re missing out if you stay in your zip code."

I spend a lot of time ITP (inside the perimeter, the perimeter being Interstate 285), but I love that I've had so many wonderful experiences by venturing OTP. Yes, yes...we Atlantans have too long made the "gotta get my passport stamped" joke about going OTP. I say it's time to give it a rest and go experience ALL that Metro Atlanta has to offer, which is a LOT, including one of my new favorite theatres, Aurora Theatre.

Aurora Theatre, Gwinnett County's only professional theater, is two shows into its 31st season, and from personal experience they know what they're doing...they know how to make theater-going a wonderful experience, and their 2015-2016 season lineup is spectacular, too.

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike | Aurora Theatre
Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike | Aurora Theatre

When you get your tickets, if you have time to explore Lawrenceville, Aurora Theatre has some excellent recommendations. We had dinner before the last two shows we've seen at Aurora. The first time we went to Dominick's Italian and on this past visit we dined at La Cazeula where I had some of the BEST Mexican food I've had in ages! I recommend the Alambre! And a margarita, of course.

Get your tickets now to see Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike at Aurora Theatre before it's gone! This 2013 Broadway hit promises to delight, but it finishes Sunday, October 25. 

BONUS: You'll find a "Working Out With Spike" video series on Aurora Theatre's You Tube channel. Click the below to start watching...

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