November 26, 2014
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Theatre Review
Broccoli adapts 'Uncle Vanya' for 'A House in Providence'
Don Fowler

Prolific Providence playwright Kevin Broccoli has taken “Uncle Vanya,” the classic Russian play by Anton Chekhov, and turned it into a modern kitchen-sink (literally) drama that takes place in “A House in Providence.” He keeps the two-act play moving, with two 45-minute acts that introduce us to a close-knit family, their friends and their guests.

While it takes a while to sort all of the relationships out, by the second act we realize that this connected group of common people have as many, if not more, problems as the Russian aristocrats.

The prodigal uncle has brought home his trophy wife, gaining the immediate resentment of all but two, who are attracted to her.

Many of the universal problems of low self-esteem, searching for love and acceptance and petty and not-so-petty jealousies emerge during one long controversy. It is an interesting concept that sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t. Directed by Jonathan Pitts-Wiley, the play is in its premiere early performances and still needs some tightening up and some smoother timing among the cast members. Outstanding in the role of Gina is Hannah Lum.

At Mixed Magic Theatre in the Hope Mill Building at 999 Main St. in Pawtucket through June 30, with performances Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 6 p.m. Visit www.mmtri.com or call 305-7333. Tickets are $25. Mixed Magic has created a comfortable space in the old mill.


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