Chekhov: An Evening of Comedy & Music

Anton ChekhovAnton Chekhov

by Anton Chekhov
Adapted and translated by Michael Frayn
Directed by Sharon Watts

Genstar Studio Theatre at the ACT
April 28, 29, 30 (2 shows). Doors open at 7:30, curtain at 8:00 pm.
Saturday matinee at 2:00pm.

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Maple Ridge Times

Chekhov: An Evening of Comedy and Music, is a showcase of 3 one-act comedies by Anton Chekhov, adapted and translated by Michael Frayn, and directed by Sharon Watts. The Sneeze, Drama and The Bear features an ensemble cast and the Celtic-Slavic fusion of The Wheat in the Barley. The entire evening will be served “cabaret style” with a sampling of tasty treats.

Murashkina embraces Pavel's insight

In "Drama", Teresa Laverty plays Murashkina, an aspiring writer who comes to see the famous writer, Pavel Vasilyevich, for advice on her first play. Pavel, played by Frank Fenzl, just wants a quiet afternoon with the paper. He has no idea what he's in for!


Popova laments her long lost husband

“The Bear”, is perhaps the best known of Chekhov's comedies. Christine Day plays Popova, an attractive widow, who vows to stay in mourning forever, while Frank Fenzl, her servant, Luka, tries to convince her that it is time to embrace life again. Nathan Whims, as Grigory Stepanovich Smirnov, the title character, arrives to collect an outstanding debt incurred by Popova's late husband. A classic battle of the sexes ensues and culminates in an unexpected twist.

A surreptitious wipe

In “The Sneeze”, Nathan Whims and Frank Fenzl portray two government officials (one higher and one lower in rank). They are attending the ballet with their wives and having a very enjoyable evening, when SUDDENLY ... an inadvertent (and powerful) sneeze bursts forth from the lower ranking officer onto the head of the higher ranking official. There is no dialogue in this piece, just laughter! Nathan Whims (seen in previous EPTS productions Lace Drakes and Har! The Pirate Play), Teresa Laverty, Frank Fenzl and Johnnie Walker handle the comic timing with ease.

Emerald Pig is extremely excited to be sharing the stage with The Wheat in the Barley, a group of musicians who were brought together by a passion for the traditional music of eastern and western Europe, "Eurasian roots music" primarily from the Slavic and Celtic cultures. Since the group's inception nine years ago, their repertoire has spread to encompass many other genres from middle eastern to Latin American, but their Slavic roots still run deep. Their tightly arranged instrumentals, sparkling with improvisations, have a compellingly danceable rhythm while staying true to the spirit of the original melodies.

The group lights a fire under both traditional and original melodies to ignite special occasions and events from weddings to festivals to community dances and concerts. Their third CD, "After the Battle" has just been released to rave reviews from critics and fans alike. Featured at this performance will be founding members Mark Dowding on woodwinds, Steve Gidora on guitars and mandolins, and Victor Smith on accordion and percussion. More information and samples of their music can be found on their website at

This unique mix of theatre and music will take the stage of the Genstar Studio Theatre at the ACT in Maple Ridge on April 28 - 30. Doors open at 7:30 with curtain at 8pm on April 28 and 29. There will be 2 shows on Saturday April 30, 2pm and 8pm. Tickets are available at the ACT ticket centre (604-476-2787) at $20 adults, $16 students/seniors and Theatre BC members. This production will also be our entry in Theatre BC's Fraser Valley Zone Drama Festival, May 1-7 at the Port Moody Inlet Theatre. But you will only see the Wheat in the Barley live at The ACT!

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