Vanya on 42nd Street

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Vanya on 42nd Street ★★★½ 1994 (PG)

Group of actors in street clothes rehearse a workshop production of Chekhov's play, “Uncle Vanya,” in New York's dilapidated New Amsterdam Theater. Theatrical director Gregory first gets his group together in 1989, with Mamet's contemporary adaptation, and they continue to work in private until Malle films their production some four years later before a small, select audience. Shawn, best known for “My Dinner with Andre” portrays Vanya with depth and complexity. The other actors shine as well, often against type, in this complex Russian drama of desperation. 119m/C VHS, DVD . Wallace Shawn, Julianne Moore, Brooke Smith, Larry Pine, George Gaynes, Lynn Cohen, Madhur Jaffrey, Phoebe Brand, Jerry Mayer, Andre Gregory; D: Louis Malle; W: Andre Gregory, David Mamet; C: Declan Quinn; M: Joshua Redman.