Vanya and Mound Builders Defy Categorization

Puzzle pieces

David Hyde Pierce and Sigourney Weaver in Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
Carol Rosegg
David Hyde Pierce and Sigourney Weaver in Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike

It all sounds like an ultra-tacky 1970s Bette Davis shriek-fest, and indeed, one of these women is Davis herself, incarnated by Carol Kane, effective despite her wrecked voice, which renders half her lines incomprehensible. But even Lucas can't build a cheesy thriller into a meditation on art and truth, no matter how historic—or histrionic—its heroine. Pam MacKinnon, directing, manages to keep the play's opposing sides from collapsing in on each other; Mickey Sumner is plausible as Kane's implausible antagonist. But it's a bumpy night.

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