The White Orchard Theater offers a poignant classical interlude with its world premiere stage adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's Kreutzer Sonata. In a regional scene filled with theatres clamoring over one another to obtain the rights to the latest and hottest of Broadway shows, or focusing solely on new and original works, the White Orchard Theater has emerged to fill the need for exploration of the world of classical masterpieces. Their inaugural production, at the Mary Ann Wolfe Theatre, is Tolstoy's groundbreaking novella, Kreutzer Sonata.
Born to a royal family in Czarist Russia in 1828, Count Leo Tolstoy, was a novelist of the Realist school who considered the novel to be a framework for the examination of social and political issues in middle class life. His writing was also a reflection of his life as a reformer, pacifist, and moral thinker notable for his ideas on nonviolent resistance. His most famous works, War And Peace and Anna Karenina, bear some thematic parallels to Kreutzer Sonata.
Kreutzer Sonata examines the painful story beneath the crumbling facade of a seemingly happy marriage at the turn of the century. It is a story of both women and men trapped by the conventions of society, and betrayal and trust. This adaptation by the White Orchard Theater features additional revisions by Reymond Levy and Ivan Saltz. Direction by Irina Sundukova clearly brings this script to life by maximizing the emotional content of plot.
As the husband and wife, actor and actress Ivan Saltz and Marlene Marcos have their work cut out for them. Their finely angst-ridden performances are the heart of this play. There is some unevenness amongst the rest of the cast, as both Todd Webster as Krokin and Ross Pivec as Trukachevsky seemed rather stiff on stage.
Lighting, costumes, and sound all work well for this space. I found the background music interesting throughout the show. All in all, this is a lovely performance of a formidable undertaking.
Kreutzer Sonata runs from April 22nd - May 6, 2005 at the Mary Ann Wolfe Theatre. The theatre is located at 3000 NE 151st St., North Miami, FL 33181 (Biscayne Blvd. and 151st St. at the Wolfe Center on the Florida International University Campus) For tickets call 305-331-1293. The White Orchard Theater is a nonprofit, professional theater company established in the Aventura area, and serving the Miami-Dade and Broward communities. For information on the White Orchard Theater and their season, please call 305-331-1233, or reach them on line at www.whiteorchardtheater.com.