Milestones: Magnified Gestures

THE CHERRY ORCHARD by ANTON CHEKHOV

In Chekhov's plays extraordinary things usually happen in the most ordinary ways. Not so in the revival of The Cherry Orchard at the Vivian Beaumont Theater in Lincoln Center. Director Andrei Serban emblazons even quite ordinary moments with extraordinary stage effects. Symbolic figures stalk in and out, backgrounds loom hugely, movement flows into patterns and tableaux. The results are bold, sometimes beautiful, but only partly successful.

Serban's best images effectively magnify the play's conflict between the old order and the bright new world that is its doom: a...

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