“Ivanov,” the play in which Anton Chekhov was still testing the formula for his dramatic breakthrough, is usually revived in somberly autumnal shades. So the opportunity to see the play thrillingly brought to life in brazen color, courtesy of director Bart DeLorenzo, is one that no serious aficionado of modern classics should pass up.
Charles McNulty – LA Times
The ensemble tears into the play with gusto — in particular, Barry Del Sherman finds the soul in the “soulless and egoistical” Nikolai, Tom Fitzpatrick deftly shades the manic comic relief of his Count Shabelsky, and Danielle Kennedy’s Avdotya Nazarovna, in her short time onstage, simply sparkles. Bart DeLorenzo’s seamless directing holds the production together, adroitly navigating the play’s lurches in tone.
Mindy Farabee – LA Weekly
Now, director Bart DeLorenzo proves that Chekhov did indeed write a comedy. In this production from the Odyssey Theatre Ensemble and Evidence Room that uses a new translation by Paul Schmidt, the play becomes a carnival of greed, gossip, pretense, complaining, backbiting, and boredom, with the character of the broken but essentially decent Nikolai Ivanov (Barry Del Sherman) as the still center of a storm of pettiness and folly.
Neal Weaver – Backstage
By reinterpreting Ivanov and, thereby, seeking to expand its appeal, this production loses sight of Chekhov’s original and created a play that is both inconsistent in its subject matter and a failure in terms of dramatic impact. It is funny and entertaining, with some uproarious moments, but nothing more.
Barnaby Hughes – Stage and Cinema
DeLorenzo gets strong work from the entire ensemble, but their efforts are ultimately wasted on this ponderous and pointless play. Some have described Ivanov as a work dealing with a character with clinical depression, but even if this was so, that alone does not create inherently compelling theatre.
Terry Morgan – LAist
It could have been quite interesting and funny to watch these people desperately trying to make something of the evening, but becomes almost painful until the entrance of Lebedev himself, when things come alive and start to move forward. After that, the absurdity of the situation is obvious, fascinating and often quite funny.
Geoff Hoff – LA Theatre Review
Though the story is a serious one for the principal characters in this play, Director DeLorenzo finds ways to add some humor to the plot with some of the other characters. Though it may sound incongruous, it works especially well in this production that features a large and talented cast.
Carol Kaufman Segal – Reviewplays
This is Bart DeLorenzo and the Evidence Room at their best. Don’t miss this chance to peer into Chekhov’s past and the Evidence Room’s future.
Anthony Byrnes – KCRW
The actors are having a wonderful time out there, though, emphasizing the stereotypical aspects of character for laughs. And I must say, in today’s theatre-going climate, their efforts will please. Their caricatures emphasize Ivanov’s isolation and turmoil, successfully skewing his portrait to that of an Expressionist, anti-hero.
Leigh Kennicott – Stagehappenings
It’s a classy good time.
Madeleine Shaner – Park La Brea News/Beverly Press (opens in pdf)
Odyssey Theatre Ensemble and Evidence Room co/production
The Odyssey Theatre
2055 South Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles
8 p.m. Wednesdays-Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays. (Call for exceptions.); Ends June 3, 2012
Tickets: $25-$30; (310) 477-2055
Running time: 2 hours
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