Tony Award-winning comedy with over-the-top characters has two more showings

Published in the May 10 – 23, 2017 issue of Morgan Hill Life

By Camille Bounds

“Vanya and Sonia and Marsha and Spike” contains a sprinkling of Chekhov in a comic play filled with outrageous moments of revelations, amusing dialogue and over-the-top characters. The South Valley Civic Theatre’s group of excellent actors performing in this show will keep you laughing at the four title characters — two sisters, a brother and a boy-toy boyfriend actor — and their highly hilarious dysfunctional relationship.

The performers keep the action moving at a steady pace in Christopher Durang’s 2013 Tony Award-winning play, now being shown for one final weekend at The Morgan Hill Community Playhouse.

Directed by Myra F. Kaelin, with assistance in directing by Nicole Tung, the play opens with the audience finding brother Vanya (played with subtle wit by Scott Lynch) and sister Sonia (a hilariously over-emotional Adrianne Wilkinson) bemoaning the facts of their dull lives. Soon their world is turned upside down when their glamorous, successful, and aging movie-star sister Marsha (played with eccentric ego-mania by Denee Lewis) descends on their boring existence. She’s accompanied by her very young and muscular new boy-toy Spike (wonderfully brought to life by Tyler Savin). The May-September relationship really shakes things up for her siblings.

To add to the hysteria of the situation, their housekeeper, Cassandra, (played with a nod to the Grecian chorus by Roberta Vinkhuyzen) keeps everyone on edge with her doomsday prophecies that, despite their weirdness, keep coming true. Mix in a young and cute neighbor named Nina (played with innocent charm by Krista Warner) and the plot, as they say, really thickens when Masha sees her as a threat to her relationship with her boyfriend.

A lot of love went into this show, which was produced by Mary Dokter. The detailed set consisting of the back patio area of the family home looking out on a lake was designed by Scott Lynch.

Bill Tindell and Jason Leong served as the scenic designers. The lighting designers were Colleen Blanchard and Joyce Bedard. Bill Haskell served as the sound engineer and Elizabeth Calisi served as the costume designer. All their work adds up to a delightful evening at the theater for local audiences who love a good laugh.

And they’ll get plenty of comedy. “Vanya and Sonia and Marsha and Spike” will keep you laughing — and perhaps thinking about your own family and relationships Give yourself a treat with an evening out at the South Valley Civic Theatre’s latest production and find out what’s so funny about “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.”

Camille Bounds is the theater and arts columnist for Morgan Hill Life and Gilroy Life. She can be reached at


What: ‘Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike’
When: 8 p.m. May 12 and 13
Where: Community Playhouse, corner Fifth Street and
Monterey Road