Two River Theatre presents a modernized and musical version of Anton Chekhov’s ‘The Seagull’ through July 1.

“Songbird,” being staged at Two River Theater through July 1, is largely set in a Tennessee honky tonk bar where a fading country singer has returned to support the fledgling career of the son she barely knows. It looks, sounds and feels like a quintessential American story.

Which is why many will be surprised to learn that it’s based on Anton Chekhov’s classic “The Seagull,” first produced in 1896.

“These are characters everyone knows and loves from ‘The Seagull’ turned into real people we can all recognize. They feel very modern,” said Allison Bressi, one of the production’s producers. “Our goal is to honor ‘The Seagull’ but to have an adaptation that stands on its own. If you know the Chekkov and love it, you’ll love it, and if you don’t know the Chekhov, you’ll still love it.”

Written by Michael Kimmel with music and lyrics by Lauren Pritchard, “Songbird” is the story of Tammy, a once-popular country singer who is back in her hometown to help the son she left behind launch his own music career. Chekhov fans will know immediately that Tammy (Felicia Finley)is the Russian master’s Arkadina and the son, Dean (Marrick Smith), is Arkadina’s son Treplev.

“Songbird” premiered off-Broadway at 59E59 in 2015. New York Times critic Charles Isherwood gave the show a positive review and noted that he found it even more enjoyable when he stopped making connections to Chekhov’s original: “But soon I let Chekhov fade away and immersed myself in what is — despite the cliche …read more

Source:: New Jersey Real -Time Entertainment


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