City Theatre to open season with comic drama

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City Theatre's first three plays of the 2013-14 season include Christopher Durang's Broadway comedy "Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike." The season opens with "Tribes," a provocative comic drama by Nina Raine, then continues with "Vanya" and "Hope and Gravity," a kinetic play by Michael Hollinger, author of "Opus."

An announcement of City Theatre's full six-play season, including three more new works and the show dates, is forthcoming.

• "Tribes" by Nina Raine: Verbal jabs abound as we observe Billy, a deaf 20-something who is adept at lip-reading the brash discourse of his hearing family. When Billy falls for a woman who's losing her hearing, everyone learns lessons about listening.

• "Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike" by Christopher Durang: The playwright of "Mrs. Bob Cratchit's Wild Christmas Binge" for City parodies Chekhov characters: Vanya and his sister Sonia tolerate their middle-age existence in Bucks County, until their movie-star sister Masha and her boy-toy Spike come home to shake things up. The New York Times' Ben Brantley wrote of its off-Broadway debut: "There's something deeply comforting about Mr. Durang, of all people, delivering Chekhov's lost souls from their eternal misery, if only for one night."

• "Hope and Gravity" by Michael Hollinger: A nonlinear comedy about fate takes 10 characters on an elevator ride through chance encounters and rocky relationships.

Season tickets, available starting Saturday: $157.50-$247.50; single tickets range from $35 to $55. Details at 412-431-CITY (2489) or CityTheatreCompany.org.

theater

Sharon Eberson: seberson@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1960.


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