Minor Character (Under the Radar)
Closed 1h 25m
Minor Character (Under the Radar)

Minor Character (Under the Radar) NYC Reviews and Tickets

(8 Ratings)
Members say
Ambitious, Clever, Great acting, Delightful, Absorbing

About the Show

New Saloon’s irreverent mashup of English-language translations of "Uncle Vanya" – from the dusty 1916 edition to Google Translate’s whack results – is a kaleidoscopic amplification of Chekhov's depressing comedy.

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Show-Score Member Reviews (8)

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683 Reviews | 161 Followers
Illuminating, Touching, Funny, Hip, Smart

See it if you love "Uncle Vanya" but don't take it so seriously that you can't enjoy a creative fracturing of the text.

Don't see it if the text of "Uncle Vanya" is too precious for you to bear seeing it dismantled & reconstructed. Read more

270 Reviews | 58 Followers
Clever, Delightful, Dizzying

See it if You are open to a fractured, sprightful take on Vanya. It fills the stage with multiple versions of the characters. Not profound but fun.

Don't see it if You don't like your classics tampered with.

688 Reviews | 116 Followers
Ambitious, Great acting, Dizzying, Quirky, Intense

See it if Wildly ambitious yet uniquely poignant medley? mashup? melee? of Uncle Vanya culled from various translations Chekhov meets Jackson Pollack!

Don't see it if Knowledge of source drama a MUST Except for one actor (David Greenspan!) others play all other parts at various times = intelligent chaos

677 Reviews | 192 Followers
Unconventional, Ambitious, Promising, Creative, Clever

See it if ur familiar w/Uncle Vanya & want to see an abridged version by an innovative acting co. having fun with a mixture of English translations.

Don't see it if u aren't familiar w/the play (otherwise you will be very confused); u expect more variety of translations; u want a traditional Chekhov. Read more

1312 Reviews | 354 Followers
Ambitious, Profound, Intelligent

See it if If you like uncle vanya. Good acting a different scenario on chekhov.

Don't see it if If you do not like the classics tampered diwn.

65 Reviews | 11 Followers
Ambitious, Absorbing, Clever, Indulgent, Somewhat cerebral and distant

See it if you love Chekhov, you like meta-theatricality or intellectually-fueled performances, or you'd like to see Chekhov but haven't

Don't see it if you want a traditional play, or something that isn't at times sort of hipster millenial in its approach

27 Reviews | 8 Followers
Great acting, Ambitious, Quirky, Confusing, Delightful

See it if you enjoy a solid ensemble with actors moving in and out of multiple characters. Lots of fun moments.

Don't see it if the concept didn't feel fully fleshed out...though it was a lot of fun to watch.

16 Reviews | 5 Followers
Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Great singing, Entertaining

See it if You enjoy seeing new ways to present Chekhov - very imaginative

Don't see it if If you are a Chekhov purist - you might not like it

Critic Reviews (9)

The New York Times
January 8th, 2019

“It’s incredibly interesting. But also...aggravating...Main characters are played by several actors...With only a stole or a pair of gloves to hint at whom they’re playing, you can easily lose track. You don’t lose track of Greenspan though. Greenspan unearths laughs I’ve never heard Serebryakov get...But in keeping with the New Saloon aesthetic — I’d boil it down to twee with brains — more effort goes into feeding the stunt than nurturing the story. That’s a shame."
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January 8th, 2019

“New Saloon uses not one English translation but six, creating a mash-up effect that results in characters frequently repeating a line in various renderings...On top of the textual layers is a cast whose parts are continually changing...For those who go into this show knowing ‘Uncle Vanya’, keeping up is a challenge. For those who don't, it's an exercise in futility...The theatrical experiment of ‘Minor Character’ tickles the intellect, but it leaves the soul unmoved.”
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January 6th, 2019

"The script jumps from translation to translation...There are also a few musical moments, including a fine ensemble chorale...Aside from the occasional starkly contemporary phrasing, there's no clear difference between the translations made apparent...The concept may wear thin after a while, but, as performed by a very enthused company, it's the kind of enjoyable off-beat fun that downtown festivals thrive on."
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Lighting & Sound America
January 7th, 2019

"'Minor Character' is a state-of-the-art collection of avant-garde theatrical tropes, if not innovations...After a promising beginning, featuring a chorus line of Chekovian kvetchers, this approach yields a remarkably repetitive series of effects that neither honor the original nor do they yield any new insights or comedy...Morgan Green's direction keeps a fairly tight lid on these proceedings, keeping them from spinning into chaos."
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New York Stage Review
January 9th, 2019

“Any production of ‘Uncle Vanya’ inevitably rises and falls on the success of its translation...New Saloon has incorporated six...The result is a giddy, vodka-spiked concoction that Chekhov fans will lap up. The translations aren’t woven together tapestry-style; rather, they’re piled on top of each other...If you aren’t familiar with ‘Vanya’, it’ll take you a scene or two to get up to speed. And even if you are familiar, it might take you a few minutes to figure out who’s who.”
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Exeunt Magazine
January 11th, 2019

"A surprisingly solid 'Vanya'...Director Morgan Green and the ensemble...find a slightly manic rhythm that brings out the wry comedy...The doubling and the retreading of lines does feel very Chekhovian, I’m not sure it actually illuminates the play in a meaningful way...As a jigsaw puzzle of Chekhov, it’s charming, witty, and even oddly moving. But it feels like 'Minor Character' wants to be more than creditable Chekhov, and it never quite rose to that level for me."
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New York Theater
January 7th, 2019

"The oddness and the excess of this mash-up can be fun, and occasionally funny...If you don’t already know Chekhov well, the horseplay might serve as distraction, lessening your incentive to focus on the drama...'Minor Character' is not as sharply funny as Chekhov parodies like Durang’s, nor as moving as some recent more straightforward productions of 'Uncle Vanya.' But the presence of such an ebullient cast seems to give the play a subtext that overtakes the text."
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January 6th, 2019

“Not only does the wild production reveal an acutely clever director...but the performers demonstrate solid acting chops and musicality...The music...is in fine contrast to the dialogue and one of the high points of ‘Minor Character’...Celebrates Chekhov’s wit and humor taking it to an extraordinary level as profound themes glide under the surface of our laughter. You can ride the waves of fun including the variant English translations of character dialogue with the marvelous cast.”
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