With director Peter Amster at its helm, the play will open at Sarasota’s Asolo Repertory Theatre on Fri., Jan. 24 and will run through April 13.
Siblings Vanya and Sonia live in their family home in Pennsylvania, where they took care of their parents until their death. Now both middle-aged and unemployed, Vanya and Sonia share the house with Cassandra, a cleaning lady who rattles off ominous prophecies. After her film career dwindles and her fifth marriage fails, their sister Masha returns home, bringing with her deep-rooted resentment and competition between siblings—as well as her muscled, beautiful boy-toy, Spike.
Providing both eye candy and laughs requires finesse on the part of the actors playing Spike. The actors described their strict diet and exercise regime in The New York Times, which—for McDonald—included portion control, yoga, weightlifting and basketball.
Portraying Spike requires a careful balance between sexiness and silliness—calling for the actors to feel equally comfortable being very scantily clad on stage and being a bit goofy. As McDonald told the Times, Spike lacks inhibition and restraint.
McDonald—who is the nephew of actor Christopher McDonald—is completing his Master of Fine Arts degree at the FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training. He is also an Asolo Repertory Theatre company member, and later this season will be performing in Philadelphia, Here I Come! and The Grapes of Wrath.
Asolo Rep will preview Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike on Jan. 22 and 23, official opening on Jan. 24.