The Good Doctor
Reviewed by David Kashimba
Photo Courtesy of Pacific Alliance Stage Company

In Pacific Alliance Stage Companyís production of The Good Doctor, playwright Neil Simon pays a loving and very humorous tribute to the Russian writer, Anton Chekhov. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries Chekhovís writing was thought to be very entertaining and humorous but never up to the standard of Tolstoyís. In his tribute to Chekhov, Simon continues to remind us of this standard. Indeed, it is something that Simon shares with Chekhov. It wasnít until years after Chekhovís death in 1904 that his literary stature has grown and heís been recognized as one of the most important influences on the development of the modern short story. Simonís writing has yet to be taken seriously by most critics.

But sometimes itís best to forget all that serious stuff and just enjoy the hell out of laughing your head off at some fine entertainment. Directed by Tom Blair, with a stellar cast of the Bay Areaís finest, including Will Marchetti and Thomas Lynch, Pacific Allianceís production will make you laugh until you cry. Particularly watch out for the scene titled A Defenseless Creature. In it Thomas Lynch plays a banker with a nervous condition that manifested itself into a physical ailment. Heís just hoping for a quiet day when a woman comes in to complain about her husband and life in general. The woman has a shrill voice and a piercing scream, which unravels the bankerís nerves in ways that keep the audience rolling in the isles with laughter.

The nightís entertainment includes nine stories. Most are very humorous and a few like Too Late for Happiness are quite poignant. All are a wonderful tribute to Chekhov and show both Chekhovís and Simonís knack to please an audience. What more can anyone ask?

For tickets or more information call (707) 588-3400 or visit www.spreckelsonline.com.

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