Venue Details

96 Star Starred
Raven Theatre East Stage
6157 North Clark St. Chicago, IL 60660
773-338-2177
Venue website Get directions

Reviews & Ratings

"The Cherry Orchard"
39 ratings
3.5 average rating
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15 events
12 reviews
25 stars
attended May 31 2011

Really entertaining. The play is an interesting balance of sadness and happiness, fun and despair. This was one of the first previews I've been to at the Raven where it *felt* like a preview - things were a little too frenetic, a little too...continued

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69 events
11 reviews
1 stars
attended May 31 2011

I am not familiar with Chekov and did not know what to expect. i was very happy to see a well run, fun and lively performance of a heartfelt story that is appropriate in the current depressed economic times. It is amazing how history repeats...continued

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LMK
12 events
6 reviews
4 stars
attended Jun 01 2011

I had never seen a play by Chekhov and was looking forward to it. Unfortunately, I found the first act to be, perhaps, so much of its own time and place as to make it difficult to discern much universal from it. This, of course, falls much more...continued

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More Information

Description

It is the eleventh year of a new century. Money is tight. The mortgage is due or the estate will be sold at auction. Is this America circa 2011? No, it’s Russia in 1911. Some things never change!

Chekhov’s final play, cleverly mixing comedy and tragedy, tells the tale of the Ranevskayas, a Russian family of wealth and history whose estate faces financial ruin unless strong measures are taken to save it.  With the structure of their way of life crumbling, money has run dry and options are few.  When the family matriarch returns from the arms of her freeloading lover, a devoted former servant provides a solution. As the sun sets on their family estate, will the family take action or or will they be condemned by their own arrogance and inertia?

Director, Michael Menendian, states, “The Ranevskayas are the definition of the stubborn blindness of the dying aristocracy, borrowing to maintain their standard of living.  This is a family whose financial structure has been pulled out from under them while being simultaneously apathetic to solutions presented.  It is sadly reminiscent of much of American society prior to the current recession of 2008. Our production will draw on the historic parallels of post-emancipation Russia and America, with an emphasis on the class differences that so define one’s place in society.”

Russian playwright, Anton Chekhov, gained initial success as a writer of short, humorous sketches and vignettes of contemporary Russian life, before transitioning into a successful playwright.  A physician by trade, Chekhov injected equal doses of humor and pathos into all of his masterful plays.  His work emphasizes mood and text that continues to challenge audiences and actors alike. 

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