UNCLE VANYA by Anton Chekhov. See listings, this page. Rating: NNNN
Soulpepper Theatre has a knack for returning to a Chekhov production and deepening its emotions. They did it with Platonov and now with John Murrell's warm-hearted translation of Uncle Vanya.
The actors mine the text superbly in this comic drama about people who fall unrequitedly in love with the wrong partners. Standouts include Diego Matamoros as Vanya, who realizes his ridiculousness in his service to the blowhard professor Serebriakov (Robert Haley) but can't help losing his heart to the academic's young wife, Elena; Kristen Thomson as the sensual and impetuous Elena; Liisa Repo-Martell as Vanya's hard-working niece Sonya; and Albert Schultz as the self-pitying doctor Astrov, who attracts Sonya's attention but gives his own heart to Elena.
Laughter and tears have rarely been so effectively blended.