See it if
you're up for a flawed if fresh take on Chekov that harks back to his original, pumping air, contemporaneity & modern relevance into it.
Don't See it if
you're expecting the usual serious often tragic, dry-witted very Russian Chekov, lacking farce or comedy; don't like fresh takes on classics.
This production has been almost universally panned as a stylistic mish-mosh or mess, lacking focus or direction; & while it ultimately falls short, not quite succeeding in creating an emotional catharsis, everything else about it, its humor, farce, interracial casting & atemporal aspect, are true to its spirit & original intent.
The weird magic tricks, ventriloquism, slapstick & even circus bits & musicians are there in the original script; slaves too, which makes this rumination on Change & Time all the more relevant with its mixed cast. Its politics, too, speak to our current moment: Change indeed marches on.
Lane, Glover & Perrineau are terrific, as are Gevinson, Cooper & Keenan-Bolger; the sets are spare & effective, as is the music; costumes are lush across subtle time periods.
While the all-too modern exchanges & Brando-like tramp in Scene II may stretch things a bit far, it's a relief to finally see an Orchard Chekhov would recognize as closer to the farcical comedy he intended.