Israel Festival Uncle Vanya by Anton Chekhov Maly Drama Theatre, St. Petersburg Sherover Theatre June 4 With Uncle Vanya, Lev Dodin, one of Europe's most distinguished directors, gives an original twist to a Chekhov classic. His version of the play - which deals with wasted lives, defeated love, and time misspent - conjured up the threadbare gentility of 19th century rundown, rural Russian gentry. David Borovsky's spartan stage, dramatically overhung by two symbolic haystacks and dominated by a samovar and a set of simple chairs, underlined Dodin's concept with simplicity. Later the mood metamorphosized from the romance of candlelight to the magic of silver moonlight. A cast of highly-tuned performers infused the work with the genuine manners and mannerisms of the period, a combination of comic and tragic typical of Chekhovian drama.