Stupid Fucking Bird: Review Rundown

Great F**king Show! Okay, stop what you’re doing . . . and go get tickets for the production of Stupid Fucking Bird at the Theatre at Boston Court. No, really, unless you’re driving or already reading Chekhov, or kissing the love of your life – you need to pause and go get seats for this co-production from Boston Court and Circle X.

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la_weekly_logo_265x70Stupid Fucking Bird Is the Best Chekhov Adaptation in Two DecadesStupid Fucking Bird is the most authentic, self-aware, playful, pathos-filled, unassuming and world-wise adaptation of Chekhov I’ve seen since Louis Malle’s 1992 film, Vanya on 42nd Street. How does one have Chekhov speak to 21st-century America? See this production.

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CRITIC’S CHOICE Director Michael Michetti leads what may be Charles McNulty’s favorite ensemble of year: The whole profane title of Stupid … Bird which opened last weekend at the Boston Court Performing Arts Center, can’t be printed in a family newspaper. But I can entreat those of you with a love of Anton Chekhov and a taste for theatrical horseplay to rush out and see Aaron Posner’s bright, jocular and not in the least offensive modernization of The Seagull.

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Chekhov’s The Seagull is given a highly contemporary makeover in Pasadena: The third Chekhov takeoff this year in Los Angeles (could I have missed any?), after The Country House and Vanya & Sonia & Masha & SpikeStupid F—ing Bird may be the most self-consciously post-modern of the trio, with its resolutely present-day argot, deliberate ironic posturing and winking asides to the audience. It tries rather strenuously not to be boring or “classical,” and indeed that effort may be the only tiresome thing about it, as it almost unaccountably captures the timeless humor and complex comprehension of human foibles characteristic of any good adaptation of Chekhov.

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Boston Court Scores a Bulls eye With Their West Coast Premiere of STUPID FUCKING BIRDChekhov aficionados open to the humanizing of his high-brow archetypes will delight in playwright Aaron Posner’s smartly written and irreverent take on Anton Chekhov’s classic The Seagull. As briskly directed by Michael Michetti, the first act whizzes by with the prerequisite introductions and conflicting relationships identified, eliciting loads of laughter and unexpected audience interactions.

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Recommended: Posner’s script is clever, erudite, subversive, often funny, and always entertaining. Director Michael Michetti gives it a brilliant and lovely production, well-acted, inventive and thoughtful. Bradley’s Connie is passionate, despairing, and exuberantly physical, pursuing his ideological rants, and concluding surprisingly that maybe the old forms are still useful, but they need to be done better.

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cultural weeklyIt’s a Spirited F*ing Chekhov Summer: “Michael Michetti has staged this serious fun, taking enlightened liberties with a gentle hand and very strong cast — from Will Bradley’s intense and lovelorn Conrad (“I tried, I failed, I didn’t fail better, I failed more.”) to Amy Pietz’s arrogant embrace of his indifferent actress mother, Emma Arkadina.”

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One day I reviewed ‘Stupid F**king Bird.’ I f**king encourage all to go: I f**king declare this a must-see production for all those who love Anton Chekhov but are open to new artistic forms and for all those who can laugh at the pretensions of artists and the ironies of life.

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theatre times review icon High flying ‘Bird’: Aaron Posner’s new adaptation of The Seagull does more than revive Anton Chekhov’s 1896 Russian classic about longing for love and significance. It reinvigorates theater with energy and intent that bursts through the fourth wall like a dam spilling its guts onto a parched floodplain.

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Passion is Still Stupid: In Stupid Fucking Bird Chekhov’s The Seagull speaks to a new age: In the hands of director Michael Michetti, that rings through all the drama, as it plays out in a tight production with a strong and engaging cast. Add to this the extra thrill of Posner’s Thornton Wilder-style dissolving of the fourth wall, including actors stepping into and out of character, and you’re looking at something compelling and genuinely fun.

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Michetti’s direction beautifully mashes the discomfort into our faces, helping actors find true moments in the middle of high artifice and orchestrating designers into concert with a fascinating and difficult text.  It’s still art about art, no getting around it; and yes, art could use less of that.  But if you’re going to do it, this is how to embrace it.

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stagescene_wowEdgy and cutting-edge as you’d expect a Theatre @ Boston Court production to be, Stupid Fucking Bird is also as accessible and entertaining as any production I’ve seen at Pasadena’s premier intimate theater. And it’s not stupid at all. No fucking way.

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Los Angeles has been treated with three new plays that use Chekhov’s Seagull as the starting out point. […] Boston Court trumps them all with a wonderfully savvy, petulant blitz through the very bowels of this Chekhov masterpiece.

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