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Reviews

 

The Fourth Sister | Cinders | Antigone in New York
Hunting Cockroaches
| Fortinbras Gets Drunk | Give Us This Day


 

 

The Fourth Sister


Vineyard Theatre. 2002.

 
"A new tragicomic farce from the celebrated Polish playwright whose wit, sharpened by a life in the double crucible of Eastern Europe and New York City, is widely known through Cinders, Fortinbras Gets Drunk, Antigone in New York, and Hunting Cockroaches. “Three sisters in modern day Moscow hunger for love and happiness amidst the uncertainty of a new world order. When an American filmmaker comes to town, the sisters see a chance to change their fates, and someday, just maybe get to Hollywood - or is it Brighton Beach? An unflinchingly funny and daring epic, with a sly wink towards Chekhov."

–The Vineyard Theatre

 
"In Janusz Glowacki's audacious new play, a black comedy set in money-grubbing modern Moscow, bandits are businessmen, virgins are for sale, and even the tiger in the Moscow zoo gets ripped off daily. The play feels Brechtian—there's even accordion music—but Glowacki tells his story with less earnestness and more humor than Brecht used. His three sisters (nothing like Chekhov's) live in a cramped apartment (well designed by Rachel Hauck) with their drunken father and a sullen houseboy, Stiopa, played by Jase Blankfort (who looks fifteen and is a talent to watch). Tania (Alicia Goranson) stands out as the funniest of the sisters—a whirlwind of shallowness who is obsessed by celebrity, Versace, and a thug named Kostya. Suzanne Shepherd does a splendid turn as a vodka-pounding babushka in a head scarf and a bulletproof vest."

-The New Yorker

 
"Moments of irresistible go-for-broke absurdity in which the point is that nothing onstage can match the conjunctions of sorrow and silliness that real life dishes out these days… The play’s sustained satire variously recalls the dizzy excesses of Gogol. Rachel Hauck’s set plays ingeniously with the idea of a world that is so without privacy that walls might as well not exist. With three of the more enchanting young actresses in New York theatre!"

-Ben Brantley, The New York Times

 
"A dream cast! These canny actors delicately balance out their characters’ heartbreaking vulnerability in a manner that is almost, well, Chekhovian."

-Marilyn Stasio, Variety

 
"Glowacki's a powerfully impressive writer and Peterson…is wholly attuned to his style, producing an unpressured, steady flow of visual events and a battery of extremely fine performances. Glowacki’s caught the chaotic spirit of life in contemporary Moscow and he’s grounded it in a tangle of human feelings that has the tensile strength of the original Chekhovian weave--Extremely fine performances!"

-Michael Feingold, Village Voice

  
"Consistently surprising and bitingly funny! Glowacki’s slyly comic portrait of a nation scurrying to catch up with the West. Director Lisa Peterson shares Glowacki’s delight in the theatre. The cast does an admirable job. Memorably funny!"

-Gordon Cox, Newsday

 
"(Glowacki) concocts a farce that works…Droll and compassionate!"

-Donald Lyons, New York Post

  
"The Fourth Sister is undeniably clever as a lighthearted tribute and examination of Chekhov's works in general, and - perhaps obviously - The Three Sisters in particular.
Glowacki has woven the tapestry of his tale well, incorporating a laughably diverse set of elements - cross-dressing, the Russian mafia, and a philosophical accordion player among them - into a story that, against all odds, makes some sense."

-Matthew Murray, Talkin’ Broadway

 
"Glowacki writes with an antic sense of humor that shifts from realism to surrealism, from zaniness to deadpan and back unpredictably on a line. Appealing characters present themselves as nearly metaphoric personifications of poverty, gangsterism, prostitution, ethnic wars, ignorance, hopelessness against hope for change, Chekhov's enduring theme. Janusz Glowacki's skillful and unique work, "The Fourth Sister" was named Best Play at the International Theatre Festival in Dubrovnik in 2001, has been produced across Europe. He is a prize winning playwright who deserves his current success with this play, which has something on its mind."

-Nina daVinci Nichols, TheatreScene.net

  

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