A Misfortune

Common Descent brings Chekhov’s temperamental love story to life in this charming new musical

Presented by Common Descent
Music by Scott Christian
Lyrics by Wade Bogert-O’Brien
Book and Lyrics by Kevin Michael Shea
Director by Evan Tsitsias
Musical Director by Chris Tsujiuchi

Kaylee Harwood, Réjean Cournoyer, Trish Lindström and Adam Brazier in A Mistfortune. Photo by Dan Epstein.

From the creators of the 2011 SummerWorks hit Hero & Leander comes A Misfortune, a new musical adapted from a story by Anton Chekhov with music by Scott Christian, lyrics by Wade Bogert-O'Brien, and book and lyrics by Kevin Michael Shea, now playing as part of the 2014 Next Stage Theatre Festival.

Directed by Tsitsias, A Misfortune tells the story of Sofya (Trish Lindström), an intensely romantic, yet practical, young woman who is pursued by a family friend, Ivan (Jordan Till), although she is married to the much older Andrey (Réjean Cournoyer). After an emotional farewell, Sofya parts ways with Ivan and returns home only to discover that Andrey has invited Ivan to join them and another couple, Masha (Kaylee Harwood) and Pavel (Adam Brazier), for an intimate dinner.

What happens next is both sad and uproariously funny, as Sofya navigates the awkward encounter, avoiding Ivan's furtive glances, while her husband is completely oblivious to the situation. Meanwhile, the heavy drinking, hot-and-cold Masha and Pavel open up about the realities of married life, amusing the audience with outrageous stories of mutual contempt and later, undeniable conjugal bliss. But when the party is over, Ivan begs Sofya to reconsider. Alas, she must make a final decision: should she remain where she is, in a routine life with a condescending husband who bores her, or should she take a chance with another man, and maybe find love? 

Featuring an elegant set and beautiful costumes by designer Joanna Yu, and sophisticated lighting design by Andrew Smith, this 60-minute production is a believable glimpse into a devastating moral dilemma. Cellist Bryan Holt and pianist/musical director Chris Tsujiuchi accompany the top-notch cast, each of whom stands out for their efforts in what is decidedly a riveting musical experience. Bravo!

A Misfortune runs until January 19 at Factory Studio Theatre as part of the Next Stage Theatre Festival. Visit fringetoronto.com for more information and to buy tickets.

Show Dates: 
Wed, 2014-01-08 - Sun, 2014-01-19
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