‘Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike’ Opening Soon at ACT

Christopher Durang’s award-winning comedy “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” opens April 18 at Amelia Community Theatre at 207 Cedar St.

Vanya and Sonia are siblings, living on the family farm in Pennsylvania. Their sister Masha, a famous actress, drops in unexpectedly with her much younger boyfriend, Spike, a wannabe actor himself. Vanya laments that the siblings’ Chekhov-inspired names “were the burden of having two professor parents who were so active in community theatre.”

With Masha’s arrival, the weekend becomes a game of one-upmanship, further complicated by the dire predictions of the fortune-telling housekeeper and the pop-in visits of an idealistic and starstruck neighbor.

While there are witty references to Chekhov and his plays, such as “The Cherry Orchard,” the humor of the show doesn’t depend on the audience being familiar with his works. Playwright Durang emphasized that the show was not a parody of Chekhov. He said, “I take Chekhov’s scenes and characters and put them into a blender.”

ACT’s cast includes Isabelle Bournigault, Renée LaCroix, Tiffany James, Brandily Oliphant, Daniel Starling, and Brendan Twiggs. The show is co-directed by Stephen Carver and Peggy Strickland. Carver says, “This comedy has eccentric characters, unexpected romances, and hilarious twists.”

Performances are at 7:30 p.m. on April 18-20, 25-27 and at 2 p.m. on April 21 and 28. There will be a pre-show party for ticket holders at 6:30 on April 18 with complimentary hors d’oeuvres and specialty drink samples. Tickets are $25 for adults and $10 for students through college, available at AmeliaCommunityTheatre.org and by calling the box office at 904-261-6749. Box office hours are 11 a.m.-1 p.m. on Wednesdays through Fridays and 90 minutes before curtain on show dates. The show has a suggested PG-13 rating for adult themes and language.