Have you been feeling too happy this summer? Having too many splendid days with your family at the beach? Then let Torn Space Theater simmer down your summer days with a healthy dose of Russian drabness. Torn Space begins its 10th season tonight with a production of “Uncle Vanya,” Anton Chekhov’s melancholy masterwork of idyllic existences gone awry. This production, directed by Megan Callahan (last year’s “He Who Gets Slapped”), stars James Luse as Vanya, the middle-aged man holding down an isolated country home and bemoaning an isolated life of wasted potential. His humdrum routine is decimated when his greatest source of envy, a self-aggrandizing art professor (Marshall Maxwell), returns to the estate with his young wife, Yelena (Diane Gaidry), who courts the attention of Vanya as well as Astrov (James Heffron), an equally disaffected doctor. Love fuels jealousy, jealousy fuels love, buried resentments slowly emerge and the value of life itself is exhaustively questioned with no easy answers. By the end, you’ll be glad to step outside and see the sun again.
“Uncle Vanya” continues through Aug. 4 at the Dnipro Ukrainian Center (562 Genesee St.), with all performances at 7:30 p.m. (There are no shows Sunday and Tuesday.) Tickets are $15 and students save $5 at the door with ID. Visit www.tornspacetheater.com.
– Jason Silverstein