Baker adaptation of Chekhov nabs cast
Michael Shannon, Georgia Engel and a slew of downtown legit vets are set to star in scribe Annie Baker’s new adaptation of “Uncle Vanya,” bowing at Off Broadway’s Soho Rep in a production directed by Sam Gold.Shannon will play the doctor, Astrov, in the Chekhov play set at a rural estate owned by a professor and his much younger wife. Reed Birney, who worked with Baker and Gold in the much-lauded preem of “Circle Mirror Transformation,” appears as the title character, one of the men who falls for the young wife, to be played by Maria Dizzia (“In the Next Room, or the Vibrator Play”). Another alum of “Circle Mirror,” Peter Friedman, also is among the cast, alongside Merritt Weaver (“Nurse Jackie”), Matthew Maher, Paul Thureen and Rebecca Schull. Show begins previews June 7 with an opening night set for June 17. Baker is one of the five scribes to score a residency at Off Broadway’s Signature Theater, while Gold’s recent helming credits include current Broadway offering “Seminar.” Soho Rep presents “Vanya” in association with John Adrian Selzer.