THE STORY: Often called “the comic Russian Hamlet,” Chekhov’s Nikolai Ivanov is a man constantly at odds with the world around him. His personal and professional lives collide in unexpected and humorous ways, as he struggles to dig himself out of debt and out of provincial boredom. The local doctor informs him that his wife is dying and accuses him of worsening her condition with his foul moods, yet Ivanov finds himself drawn to a beautiful young woman who happens to be the daughter of the family to whom he owes an enormous sum of money. In this fascinating early work by Anton Chekhov, we see the union of humor and pathos that would become his trademark. This version is in a sparkling translation by Curt Columbus, whose Chekhov translations have been proclaimed by Variety as “savvy, clear, fair-minded, and right-headed."