Annie Baker

QTGVanya5 Dr Astrov (Kevin Bergen) squares off with Vanya (Steven Wright) in Uncle Vanya

UNCLE VANYA (Quintessence): Tedious boring people

Good productions of Chekhov remind us of how vital his work still can be. Bad productions feed the narrative that his plays are dated, charmless, and inconsequential.

Carla Belver, Kevin Meehan and Nancy Boykin in JOHN by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Annie Baker. Running at Arden Theatre Company through February 26. Photo by Mark Garvin.

JOHN (Arden): Things that haunt

There remains something compelling about ghost stories. Annie Baker’s JOHN demonstrates why: our past haunts just as well as any poltergeist.

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CIRCLE MIRROR TRANSFORMATION (Theatre Horizon): All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women…

Life doesn’t imitate art as much as combine with it as Baker’s play, and Matthew Decker’s production of it for Theatre Horizon, sneaks up on you and moves you.