Our opening song is surely well-known–this is “Ta-ra-ra Boom-de-ay” performed here by Elsa Lanchester, which Chebutykin, the doctor in Chekhov’s Three Sisters, periodically, perhaps pointedly, hums. Believe it or not, the lyrics from this 1891 minstrel farce variety show called Tuxedo do apply here. It may also be of interest that Henry Sayers, credited with the composition, claims not to have written it but to have heard it sung in a St. Louis brothel. [Wikipedia]
Three Sisters is being performed by the Indiana University Theatre Department at the Wells-Metz Theatre on campus beginning this Friday, October 13th and continuing through the 21st. We’re joined in the WFHB studios by Abby Lee who plays Masha Prozorov, the middle of the three sisters in the play, and by Greer Gerni who is the production dramaturg, the person who provides historically and culturally specific detail about the play and its context so that the director, cast, and crew can make fully-informed decisions regarding the way the play might be performed.
For our closing music we’ll hear “Korobushka,” a popular Russian folk song that the IU Theatre Department is featuring in its production.
We start with the obvious question for dramaturg Greer Gerni, Who was Anton Chekhov?
*Photo of Abby Lee as Masha courtesy of IU Department of Theatre, Drama, and Contemporary Dance
Producer & Host: Doug Storm
Executive Producer: Wes Martin