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Review: Steve Carell is ‘Uncle Vanya’ in new Broadway play at Lincoln Center

Steve Carell stars in the title role of “Uncle Vanya” in a new Broadway play ay Lincoln Center.

Steve Carell and Alison Pill in 'Uncle Vanya'
Steve Carell and Alison Pill in 'Uncle Vanya.' Photo Credit: Marc J. Franklin.
Steve Carell and Alison Pill in 'Uncle Vanya.' Photo Credit: Marc J. Franklin.

Steve Carell stars in the title role of “Uncle Vanya” in a new Broadway play, which is being performed at the Vivian Beaumont Theater in New York’s Lincoln Center.

Director Lila Neugebauer is able to present Anton Chekhov’s “Uncle Vanya” play in a new light by joining forces with playwright Heidi Schreck, where the result is more modern and refreshing.

In this show, Sonya (Alison Pill) and Uncle Vanya (Steve Carell) have devoted their lives to managing the family farm in isolation, but when her celebrated, ailing father and his charismatic wife move in, their lives are upended.

In the heat of the summer, the wrong people fall in love, desires and resentments erupt, and the family is forced to reckon with the ghosts of their unlived lives.

Steve Carell delivers a bold and charismatic performance as Uncle Vanya, where his acting runs the gamut: he is neurotic, witty, and frank, all in one.

Carell layers his emotions well and he is able to bring himself to the role, which helps elevate it to a higher level. Carell deserves to be nominated for a Tony Award for “Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play” at the very least.

Carell has incredible chemistry with Alison Pill, who is effervescent as Sonia. Alfred Molina is memorable as Alexander, and he works well opposite Carell, especially in their intense scenes together. William Jackson Harper is noteworthy as Astrov.

Anika Noni Rose is a revelation as Elena, while the matriarch figures played by Jayne Houdyshell and Mia Katigbak are able to provide some much needed comic relief as their characters Maria and Marina respectively.

The Verdict

Overall, this revival of “Uncle Vanya” on Broadway is compelling, dark, smooth, and engaging. The entire cast does Anton Chekhov justice, and they are able to introduce this iconic play to a younger generation of audience members. The special effects and rainfall are an added bonus.

Lila Neugebauer deserves to be commended for her vision and her exquisite direction. “Uncle Vanya” warrants a visit at Lincoln Center and it garners 4.5 out of 5 stars.

To learn more about “Uncle Vanya” on Broadway, check out its official homepage.

Markos Papadatos
Written By

Markos Papadatos is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for Music News. Papadatos is a Greek-American journalist and educator that has authored over 21,000 original articles over the past 18 years. He has interviewed some of the biggest names in music, entertainment, lifestyle, magic, and sports. He is a 16-time "Best of Long Island" winner, where for three consecutive years (2020, 2021, and 2022), he was honored as the "Best Long Island Personality" in Arts & Entertainment, an honor that has gone to Billy Joel six times.

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