2012 Toronto Fringe Festival: The Bear / Lady With A Lap Dog

Opposites attract in this delightful Chekhov double bill

Presented by Another Theatre Company
Written by Anton Chekhov
Directed by Ellen Hurley
Translation/adaptation by Lisa Hamalainen

Another Theatre Company presents two juxtaposing Chekhov works in The Bear/Lady With A Lap Dog, now playing at George Ignatieff Theatre as part of the Toronto Fringe Festival. The Bear is a one-act comedy centering around a grieving widow (Jaime Polatynski) and an intruding debt collector (the wonderfully bombastic John Fray) who fall out and then head over heels in a searing battle of the sexes. By contrast, Lady With A Lap Dog, starring James Patrick Pettitt and Lisa Hamalainen, is a poetic, stream-of-conscience narrative about a forbidden love affair between an aging man and inexperienced younger woman.

Translated and adapted by the multitalented Hamalainen, both pieces showcase the playwright's poetic brilliance, capturing the mood of late 19th century Russia for a modern-day audience. The Bear/Lady With A Lap Dog features a solid cast, stunning costumes by Alexandra Lord, and melancholic musical interludes by trombonist Steve Ward. Don't miss this beautifully staged production.

The Bear/Lady With A Lap Dog runs until July 15 at George Ignatieff Theatre (15 Devonshire Place). Visit fringetoronto.com for a full schedule and to buy tickets.

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