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If you’re looking to brush up on classic Russian literature but don’t want to commit to the full work, a musical version of Anton Chekhov’s 1900 play Three Sisters might seem a good place to start. But, aside from Anglicized versions of character names and very tenuous plot similarities, MetroStage’s Three Sistahs actually has little in common with the original. Making its third appearance at the Alexandria theater, the venue’s 30th season opener is set in a world that Chekhov could hardly have imagined: D.C. in the late ’60s, beset by the Vietnam War, political turmoil, and riots that destroyed parts of the city after Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination. The play’s gospel, R&B, and funk music, composed by MetroStage’s prolific William Hubbard, is also unique to this production—the comedic “Basement Kind of Love,” a song about teenage partying, is certainly not a Chekhov creation. What unites the original work and this variation are similar stories of navigating tense family dynamics while dealing with personal and political anguish, themes that have remained relevant since Chekhov broached them more than a century ago. The play runs Sept. 17 to Nov. 2 at MetroStage, 1201 North Royal St., Alexandria. $55–$60. (703) 548-9044. metrostage.org.