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Charlotte Rampling does very well as Madame Ranyevskaya, a near-penniless aristocrat who returns to her family estate as it is about to be auctioned after a default on the mortgage.Rampling clearly shows us a aging woman who is spoiled, charming, childish, delusional, sometimes haughty and condescending, and feckless - a person who never learned how to manage money because she never felt she had to.I've had times where I've tried to get her and I couldn't. In recent years I've tended to finish an Act One, and as a way to trigger myself to stop procrastinating and do an Act Two, I will request a theater give me a date for a reading, say, in two months.With a reading, of course, you're also thinking of what actors you're going to ask to the reading.
Ranevsky and her brother Gayev, are faced with having the property sold to pay their debts. Ranevsky cries, "after the dark autumns and the cold winters, you're young again, full of happiness! This is the start of a new life, Mother." Gayev adds, "It's quite true, everything's all right now." is also a comedy in the modern sense that it's funny. There's Yepikhodov the clerk who complanins constantly, always adding, "not that I complain." There's Pischik, a neighbor, who has a great penchant for borrowing money and swallows a whole bottle of Mrs. And, although a thread of sadness runs through the play, its characters are drawn with Chekhov's gentle humor.They cling to happy memories of their childhood home, and hatch all kinds of plans to save it. " But once they know the property is gone for good, they soon reconcile themselves to the idea. Ranevsky returns to Paris to take care of her hapless lover, and Gayev quickly secures a job at a bank. Ranevsky and Gayev even pass up the chance to save the estate by selling it for summer cottages. It gives us an optimistic view of humanity, which is a good thing for a comedy to do.It's a plan proposed by their friend Lopakhin, who will even loan them the money to clear the land. Lopakhin can't help pointing it out, although he's a kind man. We're left with the comforting thought that everything really is going to be all right., and transforms it into something oddly heartening and, of course, very amusing.Starring three Durang regulars—his Yale graduate school classmates Sigourney Weaver and Kristine Neilsen, and old friend David Hyde Piece—and three young actors—Billy Magnussen, Shalita Grant, and Genevieve Angelson—his new play centers around three a-little-older-than-middle-aged siblings dissatisfied with their lives and each other.