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Chekhov/Tolstoy: Love Stories

From 58 member  reviews
Members say: Slow, Disappointing, Ambitious, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

About the show

Mint Theater Company presents a program of short plays adapted from stories by two of the world’s greatest authors, Anton Chekhov and Leo Tolstoy. More…

From the show:

These dramatic adaptations come from one of our favorite playwrights, Miles Malleson, author of Mint productions, Conflict and Yours Unfaithfully, both New York Times Critic’s Picks.  

Mint’s production will be the first-ever pairing of Malleson’s Russian gems, co-directed by Mint Artistic Director Jonathan Bank and his longtime collaborator, Jane Shaw. Jane has designed sound, and composed and arranged music for thirty Mint productions; she will be making her directorial debut at the Mint.


Member Reviews (58)

MEMBERS SAY:

Slow, Disappointing, Ambitious, Intelligent, Thought-provoking
70
Avg Score

74
Quirky, Disappointing, Intelligent, Slow, Ambitious

See it if Malleson's adapt of two short stories by these iconic writers is only moderately successful enhanced by some solid acting & Shaw's staging

Don't see it if While capturing the tone of both authors fairly well (esp Tolstoy), Malleson is unable to translate this into an interesting dramatic format

74
Thoughtful, Not so dramatic, Interesting, Stories staged

See it if you’re a fan of Russian lit or interested in Chekhov’s pre-dramatic writing.

Don't see it if you’re in the mood for a great big dose of excitement.

Also I enjoyed this Mint double bill of stage adaptations of stories by Che... Read more Read less

78
Dated, Intense, Thought-provoking, Intelligent

See it if The Mint is always a winner. Nice view of the two greatest Russian writers. The male lead replacement in (Henry Clarke) was very good.

Don't see it if The Mint has a history of great sets but something is missing here.

69
Disappointing, Slow, Great acting, Banal, Ambitious

See it if you enjoy Mint discoveries, fan of Chekhov, Tolstoy & Russian drama, want to see unusual studies about love, enjoy a bill of 2 one-acts

Don't see it if can't patiently endure a slow, excruciating curtain raiser to wait for a really good play, expect traditional love stories

76
Spiritual, Great writing, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Absorbing

See it if A landscape painter defends role in society before planting a kiss & a stranger w/ transformative powers answers 3 questions.Sung interlude.

Don't see it if "I have lost touch with decent people/Of course my life is tedious/I'm an artist/You are as lazy and idle as I am/Learn what dwells in man"

Also "I believe that what is beyond our understanding is a miracle." Two 40... Read more Read less

74
Refreshing, Dated, Entertaining, Ambitious

See it if You want to see 2 plays adapted from Chekhov & Tolstoy short stories that show glimmers of larger, more well-known works. You want...

Don't see it if an almost (1 glaring exception) solid, classically trained cast. Don't see if you want 2 equally well-done adaptations. The Chekhov play...

Also is the better adapted & acted. The Tolstoy is clunky & has an, unusual... Read more Read less

69
Slow, Ambitious, Disappointing for multiple reasons

See it if 2 short plays based on short stories; somewhat in conversation with each other (read the playbill - Chekhov satirizing Tolstoy's approaches

Don't see it if expect much from Malleson ("Conflict") who adapted the stories, Bank who directs one, want excellent acting all around, want the Mint's*

Also *excellent sets and costumes.(Not sure what they were going for with t... Read more Read less

49
Excruciating, Slow, Disappointing

See it if You want to support The Mint which. usually does fine productions.

Don't see it if You want an interesting plot or you want good acting. Actors barely project. Two different short plays both of which should remain unknown.

80
Relevant, Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Great writing, Great acting

See it if you admire the courageous writing of these great early 20th Century pre-Revolution Russian authors, interested in comparing/contrasting them

Don't see it if you’re not intererested in early 20th Century Russian economic class:humanist vs. spiritual tensions, prefer shorter/two act plays, orcomedy

Also The playwrite successfully captured the mood and details of the origin... Read more Read less

75
Thought-provoking, Quirky, Great acting, Enchanting, Absorbing

See it if You like weird old plays. You like kind of pervy guys getting with young women and angels doing weird things.

Don't see it if You'd rather see something contemporary.

73
Thought-provoking, Slow, Intelligent, Disappointing

See it if you'll enjoy 2 1 act plays based on Russian short stories as adapted by an Englishman around the time of WW 1 w/ pedestrian acting.

Don't see it if you'll dislike 2d play,based on a Tolstoy short story,because it's a straightforward Christian fable.The 1st act seems more modern in tone

Also The night I saw it, Henry Clarke substituted for Alexander Sokovikov.

70
Half baked, Well acted, Clichéd, Ambitious

See it if You're up for a flat Chekhov and an emotionally interesting Tolstoy, both generally well-acted but visually odd coming from The Mint.

Don't see it if You've no patience or expect literal Love Stories—political discourse and allegory rule here, clothed in flesh and sprit, respectively.

Also Though replacement Henry Clark is fine in the somewhat verbose Chekhov... Read more Read less

65
Good acting, Slow, Disappointing

See it if you like to see everything the usually wonderful Mint Theater does - and especially if you are interested in anything by these 2 writers.

Don't see it if you are expecting the usual level of this company; this one is a rare misstep. Unfocused; not dramatically viable.

Also Vinie Burrows is mesmerizing even when doing nothing. It's almost wort... Read more Read less

75
Half hearted love

See it if Mint Theater completist stalwart.

Don't see it if Prefer full length plays. Hate the idea of adapted short stories.

Also I really liked The Artist, the Chekhov adaptation. Katie Firth is a co... Read more Read less

69
Great acting, Slow, Banal

See it if You enjoy plays adapted from historic writers. It is a bit slow.

Don't see it if You enjoy musicals or dramas.

68
Banal, Slow, Disappointing

See it if As a big fan of Mint Productions I was disappointed with this one. Not up to their usual high standards including the set design and acting

Don't see it if You prefer a faster paced play and expect the usual standard of Excellence usually provided by a mint production.

Also I was looking forward to seeing Alexander Sokovikov from the TV shows ... Read more Read less

75
Relevant, Indulgent, Slow, Intelligent, Banal

See it if You're curious about lesser know pieces by these authors. Philosophical elegant writing.

Don't see it if Very slow and uneventful. Not a lot of depth or plot.

70
Slow, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if into getting immersed in the pace of time gone by, wonderfully acted. What others here call dated felt soothgingly nostalgic to me.

Don't see it if cautious - these are not as satisfying as better known works by these authors.

80
Each of the plays deserved its own staging, Intelligent, Great acting, Ambitious, 2 plays overladen with philosophical and religious content

See it if You enjoy philosophical and faith heavy plays, with two master storytellers' short stories adapted to short plays.

Don't see it if You prefer musicals or plays with lighter topics than man's state of being in the world and what he needs to live by: thinking and love.

Also I enjoyed this philosophy with a dose of faith dual play staging by tw... Read more Read less

70
Slow, Relevant, Intense, Ambitious, Clever

See it if you love the feel of Chekhov plays

Don't see it if you can't take slow-moving pieces/performances or were expecting a lot of romance (love in the title can mean many different things)

49
Banal, Slow, Dated

See it if you want to read the interesting program notes about Tolstoy/Chekhov friendship...better than the actual show which is slow, dated, boring.

Don't see it if Eww lonely 40yr old kisses naieve 16yr old. Yeah, thats the way it was but ickkk. Sloooooow direction. Uneven cast. Why was this show done?

Also I love Chekhov with a capital L! But I would’ve been happier just read... Read more Read less

70
Disappointing, uneven, interesting in parts

See it if You want to see two short plays (85 minutes total) by Chekhov and Tolstoy.

Don't see it if You require great acting to feel a play is worthwhile.

Also I didn't know either of these stories as Russian lit is not really my ... Read more Read less

54
Disappointing, Fluffy

See it if You like short plays which have simple story lines which are easy to follow.

Don't see it if If you would rather see something more extravagant with a story line that challenges your mind and imagination.

100
Great acting, Clever, Absorbing

See it if You like the works of Russian writers.

Don't see it if Classics bore you. Don't see it if you mind two plays back to back.

49
Slow, Quirky, Disappointing, Dated, Confusing

See it if you have to see everything, you're into absurdist theater, you love backdrops (loved the backdrop and that's about it)

Don't see it if you want the story to mean anything or you like to be transported into a world

Also Honestly this was maybe the worst thing I've ever seen and I wish I co... Read more Read less


February 11th, 2020
"Chekhov and Tolstoy Reunited in ‘Love Stories’: The Mint Theater Company pairs stage adaptations of short stories by the 19th-century Russian authors. They mesh like mismatched matryoshka dolls."
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February 10th, 2020
"Learn the Meaning of Life With Three Questions in 'Chekhov / Tolstoy: Love Stories': The Mint Theater stages Miles Malleson's adaptations of two Russian tales at Theatre Row."
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February 13th, 2020
"Two Tales By Russian Masters Brought To The Stage in The Mint's 'CHEKHOV/TOLSTOY: LOVE STORIES'"
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February 11th, 2020
"The best to be said for this uneven pair of one-acts is that they expand our knowledge of a distinctive playwright (better known as a character actor) whose output might be altogether forgotten if not for this intrepid theatre company."
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