Tag Archives: Chad I. Goodridge

Chekhov under an open sky

Ivanov (Rob Campbell) dances on the water of Lake Lucille in the magical conclusion to Chekhov's Ivanov. (Photos copyright 2010, Steven P. Marsh)

Lake Lucille echoed with the sounds of stagecraft for five days last week as a company of 60 actors, musicians and various other theater professionals put together a free, outdoor production of Ivanov, by Anton Chekhov, performed from a new translation by Curt Columbus.

This production of Chekhov on Lake Lucille was particularly welcomed because it marked the return of a neighborhood tradition. The annual run was broken last summer when host-producers Melissa Kievman and Brian Mertes moved to the West Coast for personal and professional reasons. But they kept their wonderful brownstone house — which is the centerpiece of the set for each Chekhov production — and managed to return this summer with a bigger-than-ever performance and neighborhood cookout and potluck supper at intermission.

Melissa Kievman, Brian Mertes and the band.

You could call it summer camp for theater professionals. Most of the volunteer staff spent the week living in tents, eating meals alfresco in the neighborhood and working to create a context for Chekhov’s drama in the suburban landscape of the Lake Lucille neighborhood.

It drew hundreds of guests to enjoy the creative staging under clear skies with moderate summer temperatures.

Dozens of neighbors and local businesses provided support for an undertaking that costs thousands of dollars. This year, the West Branch Conservation Association, Rockland’s Land Trust, helped produce the play with a grant obtained by the office of Assemblyman Kenneth P. Zebrowski and the late state Sen. Thomas P. Morahan. The Tisch East Alumni Council help with a microgrant for costuming.

The production uses the natural features. Here Ivanov makes an entrance from the lake itself.

Ivanov emerges, dripping wet.

Ivanov walks through the audience toward the stage.

As is often the case in Chekhov, the characters complain of boredom.

But Jesse J. Perez, who played Kosikh, choreographed some great routines to keep things interesting:

Check out more photos after the jump.

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Up for a Passing Strange road trip?

So glad he's not on Broadway: Stew and his adoring fans after the final Broadway performance of <i>Passing Strange</i> on July 20, 2008. (Photo by SPM, all rights reserved.)

He’s so glad he’s not on Broadway: Stew and his adoring fans after the final Broadway performance of Passing Strange on July 20, 2008. (Photo by SPM, all rights reserved.)

Just a month after hitting the Tribeca Film Festival, Spike Lee‘s film of Passing Strange will be screened at the Seattle International Film Festival on Saturday, May 23.

Spike Lee at the final Broadway performance of Passing Strange on July 20, 2008. (Photo by SPM, all rights reserved.)

Spike Lee at the final Broadway performance of Passing Strange. (Photo by SPM, all rights reserved.)

They’re doing an interview and Q&A session, oddly, before the screening, which no doubt will help avoid the really thorny audience queries, like what co-creator and narrator Stew really meant by “What’s inside is just a lie.”

Spike is also slated to get the SIFF’s 2009 Golden Space Needle Award for Outstanding Achievement in Directing.

Think that means they really, really wanted him to show up?