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Uncle Vanya (Hunter Theater Project)

From 139 member  reviews
Members say: Great acting, Absorbing, Great writing, Intelligent, Masterful

About the show

The Hunter Theater Project presents its inaugural production, a staging of a new translation of Anton Chekhov’s classic drama, directed by Richard Nelson. More…

Vanya and his niece Sonya struggle to care for the estate owned by Vanya’s brother-in-law, a wealthy and celebrated professor. When this local legend returns with a beautiful new wife and announces his plans to sell the estate, hidden passions explode and the lives of the entire family come undone. 

Member Reviews (139)


Great acting, Absorbing, Great writing, Intelligent, Masterful
Avg Score

Absorbing, Intimate, Accessible, Resonant, Intelligent

See it if you want a smart, approachable, naturalistic staging of Chekhov that feels more like eavesdropping on a family than watching a classic drama

Don't see it if u don't like Nelson's quiet, low key, conversational productions à la Gabriels & Apple Family plays; u prefer your Russian drama traditional

Understated, quiet

See it if Very intimate production of Uncle Vanya. I had not seen Uncle Vanya before, but found this accessible and intense.

Don't see it if You want to see a dynamic, action filled play. I found it hard to stay awake in the middle, despite the excellent acting.

Also I loved the director, Richard Nelson's "The Gabriel's" trilogy which I... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Masterful, Understated

See it if you love intelligent, brilliant & subtle acting, writing & direction. The quiet ending is devastating; Woods as Sonja is superb.

Don't see it if you are looking for action or a complicated approach to Chekov; you do not enjoy personal theater in an intimate setting;

Also Excellent, comprehensible translation of Uncle Vanya - no confusion or... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Ambitious, Exquisite, Great acting, Masterful

See it if you want to see the aways dependable Jay O. Sanders give the performance of his career in Richard Nelson's exquisite production.

Don't see it if you don't like intimate theatre or people speaking in normal tones.

Also Perhaps this production has the finest ensemble currently on stage in ... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Intelligent, Moving

See it if classic Chekhov play interpreted by Richard Nelson; similar in staging to his Gabriel plays - quietly spoken around a kitchen table; low key

Don't see it if you need to hear every bit of dialogue or if you don't like plays that are dialogue heavy with little action; did not like the Gabriel plays

Also Jay O. Sanders was excellent, even better than his wonderful performan... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Great acting, Great staging

See it if Like the play and missed the recent Richard Nelson Apple/Gabriel plays. Love to be right on top of the action.

Don't see it if Took a while to get into some of the actor's styles. Uneven between comedy and the dramatic outbursts.

Great acting, Must see, Relevant, Absorbing, Jay o. sanders!!

See it if You love Chekov. You love naturalistic acting of the first order. You love theatre.

Don't see it if You can't sit still, listen, and be taken to another world.

Also As fine a show as I have seen in years. Run, don't walk! Jay O, Sander... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Great acting, Great staging, Romantic, Masterful

See it if You have seen other productions of Vanya but felt emotionally disconnected from the material.

Don't see it if You dislike theatre in the round. You dislike the source material to the point where you feel you wouldn't enjoy any production of it.

Also "This man, who for twenty-five years has hashing over other people's i... Read more Read less

Great acting, Intelligent, Slow, Riveting, Absorbing

See it if you like theatre in the round, you want a nicely staged, generally well-acted version of a classic. It is satisfactory, if not excellent.

Don't see it if you have hearing difficulties. The folks next to me were really struggling, it seemed, Also, if you like scenery & don't like intimate shows

Great acting, Great writing, Great translation, Absorbing, Great staging

See it if you enjoy the wonderful ensemble and convincing realism and intimacy of Richard Nelson's productions, making a classic play more accessible.

Don't see it if you didn't like Richard Nelson's productions at the Public. This is an identical approach - all taking place in the kitchen & very low key.

Also As usual, with Richard Nelson's productions, if you don't have perfect... Read more Read less

Great acting, Thought-provoking, Entertaining, Clever

See it if you enjoy great acting close up, theater in the round, new stagings of classic plays. Thoroughly enjoyable, well-paced, powerful.

Don't see it if .. I hesitate to say the usual "if you only love B'way musicals" type thing, so really, just go see this, it's lovely

Also My Google calendar invite sent me to an address on West 4th Street, th... Read more Read less

Unfussy, Vital, Unforced, Uncanny, Verisimilitude

See it if casual, conversational Chekhov entices you. Some may feel many moments are underplayed. Here there’s 1 emotional climax, & it’s devastating.

Don't see it if theater in the round frustrates you. That big climax was done with its back to me but Sanders is so good, I felt it anyway.

As true a production of this play as one could wish for,

See it if you like Vanya or Russian theater and appreciate great acting.

Don't see it if you are looking to be entertained.

Also Richard Nelson works his everyday magic. Immensely rewarding.

Absorbing, Entertaining, Intelligent, Intense

See it if you want to see relatively brisk production of a Chekhov play.

Don't see it if you are not enamored of the type of play (Chekhovian) that unfolds like a slow-burn of several interior dramas.

Also This production is based on a new translation. I don't know whether or... Read more Read less

Great acting, Absorbing, Intelligent, Resonant, Fresh

See it if You relish a production of the play that makes sense and is enlightening. You appreciate excellent acting.

Don't see it if You don't like Chekhov and you can't sit still for nearly two hours. You prefer a broader style of performance.

Also I'm a Chekhov fan, but I'd never read Vanya and decided to shortly bef... Read more Read less

Intelligent, Moving, Absorbing, Great acting, Thought-provoking

See it if EVEN if you've never been able to get into Checkov. This production makes him completely accessible & engrossing.

Don't see it if you don't like plays w/heavy dialogue, unhappiness, or on the human condition These people lead lives of quiet desperation. It's a lesson.

Also Rarely do you get to see a production like this Uncle Vanya. ... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Resonant

See it if You like the subtleties of Richard Nelson. The quiet writing. The quiet storytelling.

Don't see it if You don't like the Chekhov play.

Thought-provoking, Great writing, Great acting, Clever, Absorbing

See it if Uncle Vanya was an up close intimate, raw, natural, realistic theater-in-round performance. Excellent acting especially by Jay O. Sanders.

Don't see it if you don't like Chekhov or understated acting.

Terrific rendition of uv! emphasizes the homeyness and the emotionality of the play. i agree with nyt reviewer that the actor playing elena needed to show more of why the two men fell for her.

See it if You want to see a definitive version of the play.

Don't see it if You are put off by Richard Nelson's directorial shtick.

Great acting, Disappointing, Ambitious, Slow, Thought-provoking

See it if Unusually intimate Chekhov. Adaptation simplified the play. Mostly terrific cast. In the round. Conversational.

Don't see it if Long slow passages. Dry hopeless Chekhov - much of the eccentricity drained off. A little spark from "Elena" wouldn't have hurt.

Overrated, Ambitious, Disappointing

See it if New translation with predictable Richard Nelson direction, an untraditional interpretation of Chekhov. A total misfire despite rave reviews

Don't see it if Reshapes Chekhov into a Nelson play. Uneven performances, some quite poor, falls short conveying the essence of a great drama.

Enchanting, Exquisite, Great acting

See it if You want to experience this masterwork in the most intimate surroundings imaginable.

Don't see it if You cannot LISTEN or have little patience for exploration of the monumental trivialities of daily life.

Also The Apple Plays don’t fall far from the tree! Nelson has ingeniously r... Read more Read less

Slow, Resonant, Great acting, Great writing, Thought-provoking

See it if You enjoy being depressed

Don't see it if You prefer your Chekhov a laugh riot.

Absorbing, Entertaining, Great acting, Great staging, Masterful

See it if want to see a master class in acting and directing.

Don't see it if you like fluffy, lighthearted shows.

Also Such a flawless production. I went a 2nd time and took 4 more with me.... Read more Read less

Clever, Slow, Overrated

See it if you need an urgent Chekhov fix. You like your theater by the book and with few surprises.

Don't see it if The program notes make a point of how Chekhov believed in showing ordinary life rather than dramatic moments. The staging follows the advice

Also but, unfortunately, this approach requires much more convincing acting... Read more Read less

September 16th, 2018
"It’s clearer, truer, and more comprehensible than it’s ever been before...I’m still shivery, teary-eyed, and stunned from seeing Richard Nelson’s devastatingly intimate production...This is as naked and fully human an 'Uncle Vanya' as we’re likely to see. Nelson’s impeccably balanced ensemble do...
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September 16th, 2018
"We’ve never seen a Vanya like this—huge, ox-necked, shuddering like a dray horse from from burdens he’s pulled too long. Sanders's acting contains a level of detail that simply shouldn’t be visible without a camera to magnify it...The only people onstage who come close to this titanic performanc...
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September 16th, 2018
"It’s a pity that Nelson, Pevear, and Volokhonsky’s new version of ‘Uncle Vanya’...often seems to stick in the mouths of its actors. The cast is, for the most part, superb, and in the moments they’re not shown to best advantage, their inherent abilities are still well visible below the text...It’...
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October 8th, 2018
"The results are successful in every way...I can wholeheartedly recommend this production to Chekhov novices and connoisseurs...Such terrible tales are best told in an understated way, and Nelson’s actors hardly ever raise their voices, whether figuratively or literally. Instead, they let you lis...
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