Review: ‘Three Sisters’ is filled with strong emotion and leaves audience in tears


The cast of Three Sisters taking a bow after their performance at opening night. Photo credit: Luis Miron

By Shariliz Poveda

Despite the fact that the story of “Three Sisters” is set in the late 1800s Russia, the troubles the characters suffer are timeless and relatable to this day.

“Three Sisters” takes place throughout six years, and follows the Prozorov sisters in their struggle to cope with the new reality of their lives after their father dies and their brother marries a woman they don’t like.

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Forbidden kiss shared on stage by two actors. Photo credit: Luis Miron

The play was expertly written, one of Anton Chekhov’s four major plays, and is both comedic and philosophical while following the underlying theme of dreams.

It begins a year after the death of the girls’ father, at the birthday of 20-year-old Irina, the youngest sister. Within the first moments of the play, a whole cast of characters is introduced. A birthday party calls for celebration, and hopeful Irina, along with her older sisters Masha and Olga, long for the day they return to Moscow.

A moment of heartbreak shared on stage between Masha, Elisabeth Melcher, and Irina, Rachel Rysso. Photo credit: Michelle De Leon

“Three Sisters” immediately sets the stage for the plot and the various troubles the girls will have. They will each work for what they want, but in the end, it’s not a happy ending for all. It’s a cruel but true lesson, sometimes life gives you what you need, not what you want.

These heavier moments are supported by the philosophical monologues. Scattered throughout the play are the discussions the characters have where they often question the meaning of happiness, and pose the big questions of “What is the meaning of life?”.

Alyssa "Z" Carillo, Natasha, oblivious to the somber mood of the three sisters. Photo credit: Michelle De Leon

Followed by these monologues are comedic moments from the secondary characters with funny one-liners of Natasha or the exaggerated reactions of the Baron on stage. These moments bring smiles and make the heavy burdens of the characters feel a little lighter.

The cast does a brilliant job of bringing these characters to life.

Rachel Rysso, Irina, showcases raw emotion throughout the play.

Elisabeth Melcher, Masha, and Logan Chase, Aleksander, share such a strong passion in all their scenes it makes the audience root for their love.

Meanwhile Alyssa “Z” Carillo, Natasha, brings such a distinct accent to her character, she makes her unforgettable.

Savannah Simpson, Olga, and Michael Claridge, Fyodor, both show such unconditional love for their family, it radiates from their smiles and looks.

Elisabeth Melcher, Masha, looks smug during a philosophical debate in Act 2. Photo credit: Michelle De Leon

However all this would be nothing if not for the brilliance of the technical crew. They have quick set changes and mastered a major set change during intermission. Through the mastery of the lighting and shadows, the whole stage is filled with a melancholic ambiance.

The light strumming by the musicians during the transitions is both serene and melancholic. The music was written especially for “Three Sisters”, and succeeds in adding another dreamlike layer to the setting.

The three sisters sharing a somber moment on stage during Act 4 Photo credit: Michelle De Leon
A moment of heartbreak shared by the sisters in Act 4 Photo credit: Luis Miron

Every aspect of the production was thought of, the lighting, the music, and even the furniture on set. The actors drink actual liquids during the scenes of the play and, there are no awkward scenes filled with silence or pause. Every second is accounted for, with the characters going about their days. Even when they are not the focus of the show, each actor is always doing something on stage, making the play feel even more real.

The play runs from Oct. 11-21, from Thursdays to Saturdays at 8 p.m. and a 2 p.m. matinee show on Sundays.

Whether you go for the jokes, or the monologues, the play clearly shows a level of mastery in every aspect. The whole crew does so much with what they have, it makes for a very entertaining show.