Semyon has decided that life is not worth living and he wants to kill himself. In his initial suicide letter, he says no one is to blame. When one of the neighbors discovers his intentions, he begins selling people the opportunity to meet with Semyon before he kills himself. He brings many different Soviets including an intellectual unsatisfied with the government, a romantic, a priest, a writer, and more. They all want him to use his suicide letter to further their causes.
This is a very dark comedy. While the subject matter is gloomy, the absurdity of the situation does become very funny. The more people that show up insisting that his suicide note be about their cause, the funnier it gets.
This production features an impressive 3-level set designed by Kevin Hagan. It takes full advantage of the Bookspan space as it reaches up to the ceiling. The production also features two great musicians, Carolyn Waldee and Mary Spencer, who play before the play, during the intermission, and as beggar musicians in the play.
Todd Wojcik (The Pavilion, Wellesley Girl) is excellent as the opportunist selling people the chance to meet Semyon. Kathy Scambiattera is hilarious as the snarky mother in law of Semyon. She is also the Artistic Director and co-founder of The Artistic Home. Patrick Thornton (Why Torture is Wrong and the People Who Love Them, Requiem for a Heavyweight) is so funny as the priest preaching about the evils of hell while Semyon insists he doesn’t believe in God or any of what he is saying. Also, Daniel Shtivelberg is great as Semyon, contemplating the reasons to live or die. The rest of the cast is solid as well.
See the program here.
Cost of a ticket: $42
PlaylistHQ Economic Rating: Worth It +
Rating Scale: Exceptional Value > Worth It > Half Price > Go for Free > Don’t Bother
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