Simon does Chekhov in NJT season opener, ‘The Good Doctor’

New Jewish Theatre

Who knew Anton Chekhov, the author of such serious and poignant works could be so funny? Well when Chekhov’s short stories are interpreted by Broadway’s master of comedy, Neil Simon, those stories of human eccentricities and frailties become a laugh fest. In “The Good Doctor” Simon has taken several of Chekhov’s short stories and woven them together using Chekhov himself as our intrepid narrator and guide (and sometimes character). The production opens the 17th season of the New Jewish Theatre on Oct. 3 and continues through Oct. 20.

 “The Good Doctor” is set in Russia at the end of the 19th century. In it, we meet an array of unique characters in absurd situations; a young governess being upbraided by her mistress; a sailor who makes extra money by charging three rubles for someone to see him drown; a seducer of other men’s wives; and a young actress auditioning for the great writer himself. The stories are droll with affectionate portraits and the humor is infectious. Chekhov has written stories that provide for vintage Simon, balancing broad farce with character comedy in scenes that are sometimes sardonic, sometimes sympathetic

The production is directed by the theater’s Artistic Associate, Bobby Miller, and features an ensemble of five including Aaron Orion Baker, Teresa Doggett, Jason Grubbe, Alina Volobuyeva and David Wassilak as the Writer (most probably Chekhov himself).

Tickets can be purchased online at or from the box office, 314-442-3257. The production will take place in the JCC’s Wool Studio Theatre, 2 Millstone Campus Drive in Creve Coeur. For tickets and information about this production, call the NJT box office at 314-442-3283 or go to Season tickets for 2013-14 are also available through the box office.