The Fourth Sister
| Cinders | Antigone
in New York
Hunting Cockroaches | Fortinbras
Gets Drunk | Give Us This Day
Vineyard Theatre. 2002.
"A new tragicomic farce from the celebrated Polish playwright whose
wit, sharpened by a life in the double crucible of Eastern Europe and
New York City, is widely known through Cinders, Fortinbras Gets Drunk,
Antigone in New York, and Hunting Cockroaches. “Three sisters in
modern day Moscow hunger for love and happiness amidst the uncertainty
of a new world order. When an American filmmaker comes to town, the
sisters see a chance to change their fates, and someday, just maybe get
to Hollywood - or is it Brighton Beach? An unflinchingly funny and
daring epic, with a sly wink towards Chekhov."
–The Vineyard Theatre
"In Janusz Glowacki's audacious new play, a black comedy set in
money-grubbing modern Moscow, bandits are businessmen, virgins are for
sale, and even the tiger in the Moscow zoo gets ripped off daily. The
play feels Brechtian—there's even accordion music—but
Glowacki tells his story with less earnestness and more humor than
Brecht used. His three sisters (nothing like Chekhov's) live in a
cramped apartment (well designed by Rachel Hauck) with their drunken
father and a sullen houseboy, Stiopa, played by Jase Blankfort (who
looks fifteen and is a talent to watch). Tania (Alicia Goranson) stands
out as the funniest of the sisters—a whirlwind of shallowness who
is obsessed by celebrity, Versace, and a thug named Kostya. Suzanne
Shepherd does a splendid turn as a vodka-pounding babushka in a head
scarf and a bulletproof vest."
-The New Yorker
"Moments of irresistible go-for-broke absurdity in which the point
is that nothing onstage can match the conjunctions of sorrow and
silliness that real life dishes out these days… The play’s
sustained satire variously recalls the dizzy excesses of Gogol. Rachel
Hauck’s set plays ingeniously with the idea of a world that is so
without privacy that walls might as well not exist. With three of the
more enchanting young actresses in New York theatre!"
-Ben Brantley, The New York Times
"A dream cast! These canny actors delicately balance out their
characters’ heartbreaking vulnerability in a manner that is
almost, well, Chekhovian."
-Marilyn Stasio, Variety
"Glowacki's a powerfully impressive writer and Peterson…is
wholly attuned to his style, producing an unpressured, steady flow of
visual events and a battery of extremely fine performances.
Glowacki’s caught the chaotic spirit of life in contemporary
Moscow and he’s grounded it in a tangle of human feelings that has
the tensile strength of the original Chekhovian weave--Extremely fine
-Michael Feingold, Village Voice
"Consistently surprising and bitingly funny! Glowacki’s slyly
comic portrait of a nation scurrying to catch up with the West. Director
Lisa Peterson shares Glowacki’s delight in the theatre. The cast
does an admirable job. Memorably funny!"
-Gordon Cox, Newsday
"(Glowacki) concocts a farce that works…Droll and
-Donald Lyons, New York Post
"The Fourth Sister is undeniably clever as a lighthearted tribute
and examination of Chekhov's works in general, and - perhaps obviously -
The Three Sisters in particular.
Glowacki has woven the tapestry of his tale well, incorporating a
laughably diverse set of elements - cross-dressing, the Russian mafia,
and a philosophical accordion player among them - into a story that,
against all odds, makes some sense."
-Matthew Murray, Talkin’ Broadway
"Glowacki writes with an antic sense of humor that shifts from
realism to surrealism, from zaniness to deadpan and back unpredictably
on a line. Appealing characters present themselves as nearly metaphoric
personifications of poverty, gangsterism, prostitution, ethnic wars,
ignorance, hopelessness against hope for change, Chekhov's enduring
theme. Janusz Glowacki's skillful and unique work, "The Fourth
Sister" was named Best Play at the International Theatre Festival
in Dubrovnik in 2001, has been produced across Europe. He is a prize
winning playwright who deserves his current success with this play,
which has something on its mind."
-Nina daVinci Nichols, TheatreScene.net