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Review: Cherry Orchard/Strawdog Theatre | Newcity Stage
RECOMMENDED The first thing one notices are the cherry trees. Yes, I know it's called "Cherry Orchard" but not every production of Chekhov's final play will choose to visually illustrate the one thing that is keeping a gentrified family in fin de siècle Russia up all night, the reason why spendthrift matriarch Madame Ranevskaya, behind on her interest payments and in danger of foreclosure, refuses to cut her losses. Topical, anyone? In director Kimberly Senior's revival for Strawdog Theatre, the cherry trees line the back walls of the theater, cluster in the middle of the playing area and sport branches that encroach upon the performers who must gently navigate around them—sometimes at the expense of a fluid entrance or graceful exit. This can only be intentional, Senior having found in Anders Jacobsen's cramped scenic design a visual metaphor for Chekhov's inevitable finale in which the old guard, clinging on to their privileged lifestyles, are being forced out by social change.