1 2 3 4 5 ... 59
06 March 14
There is a lot to Nikita Kobelev's production of Fridrikh Gorenshtein's "Berdichev." It takes nearly four hours to perform. It covers a span of 30 years and involves 23 characters of family, friends, acquaintances and enemies.
05 March 14
Leo Tolstoy wrote famously about his experiences in the Crimean War in the mid-1850s. His book, "The Sevastopol Stories," has been a source of great cultural pride for some Russians over the last century and a half.
26 February 14
The title is a bit clumsy and it takes a good while before it begins making sense. One character in the play on the old stage at the Fomenko Studio uses the phrase over and over again — "Summer wasps bite us even in November" — until even he admits he doesn't know what it means.
20 February 14
It sounded like an interesting pairing — Maxim Kurochkin, the wildly imaginative playwright, and Talgat Batalov, a director with a fine sense of deadpan humor.
12 February 14
Kirill Serebrennikov's production of "Dead Souls" at Gogol Center starts with a prolonged slap in the face of Russian mores. From there it cranks up the vitriolic satire for nearly three hours without a break.
10 February 14
I once wrote most of what I planned to be a book about Russia. I got as far as sending chapters out to publishers. One of the few editors who was kind enough to reject me personally explained why my proposal was not of interest. It was "too worshipful" of Russia, she wrote.
06 February 14
"Hamlet/Collage" at the Theater of Nations is, without question, one of the biggest events — though not achievements — of this theater season.
05 February 14
Let's admit it. Ever since the Dozhd television station appeared in early 2010, many of us have wondered how long it could last. We now may know.
29 January 14
Lyudmila Roshkovan's Chelovek, or Human, Theater has always stood apart from the rest of Moscow's theaters. That is true geographically — though centrally located, it stands on a side street no more than a stone's throw from thoroughfares and metro stations.
28 January 14
When the going gets tough, as we have seen repeatedly in recent years, the tough take to Facebook. At least that's what they do in this part of the world.
23 January 14
Theater is a world unto itself. Sure, there's Russian theater and American theater and theater from England, France and and Bali, and they're all different.
23 January 14
Donald L. Coburn's "The Gin Game" became an instant classic in the 1970s because of its extreme simplicity and, I would wager, its honesty.
19 January 14
When Igor Popov died on Jan. 1 at the age of 76, we lost one of the great Russian theater artists of the last half-century.
16 January 14
Let's get this out of the way for the scandal-mongers. I attended the first performance of "Presence" at the Taganka Theater, the third event in the 50th anniversary project being conducted by a group of young artists, critics and theater managers on hire from the Moscow Culture Committee.
27 December 13
A new production of Pavel Pryazhko's play will open after the holidays, when Muscovites are well-rested and ready to watch.
19 December 13
Like few stories told over the centuries, Shakespeare's "Hamlet" seems always to be relevant, and this production appears to be no exception.
11 December 13
Let's get the chaff out of the way. A huge scandal hit the fan when two previews of Konstantin Bogomolov's "The Karamazovs" played at the Moscow Art Theater at the end of November. There were resignations, whispers of censorship, denials and backtracking. If you're really interested, that information, in all its florid detail, is readily accessible.
10 December 13
The premiere of Andrei Stadnikov's "Orchestra Rehearsal" makes very clear that the Taganka is still alive and full of talent.
05 December 13
"Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District," a 19th-century sketch by Nikolai Leskov, is arguably one of the harshest works in the Russian literary canon. Dmitry Shostakovich adapted it for the opera in 1932, but it is Leskov's original prose, written in 1865, that Kama Ginkas turned to for his latest production at the Theater Yunogo Zritelya.
02 December 13
If Russian theater is a mirror of Russian society — and most any Russian theater artist will tell you that is true — then Russia is in turmoil.
28 November 13
I once participated in a public discussion about perceptions of theater in the U.S. I spoke my piece and one of the actors of the host theater raised his hand and said, almost, but not quite, aggressively, "Yeah, but what about love?"
21 November 13
Ivan Vyrypayev's dramatization of "Grace and Grit" at Praktika Theater is not the usual theatrical celebration, that's for sure. Although it is, without a doubt, a celebration of life.
14 November 13
What is it about Medea that has captured the imagination of Moscow's theater artists? A new production of the Greek myth at the Gogol Center is the fourth this city has seen in recent years.
07 November 13
As I watched Genrietta Yanovskaya's production of "Don't Part With Those You Love" at the Theater Yunogo Zritelya, I could not help but think of what the Jewish-Russian-Ukrainian philosopher Lev Shestov once said about Anton Chekhov.
31 October 13
One thing any decent critic must do is come clean when the situation demands it. Harboring hopes that I may have claims to decency, I prepare a confession.
23 October 13
It must be magic. How else do you explain it? Dmitry Krymov's latest production at the School of Dramatic Art does what most of his productions do — it amazes. But also like everything he does, it amazes in unexpected ways.
17 October 13
It seems to be a universal problem in the 21st century: How do you build a functional state? Ask anybody in Greece, Egypt, Italy, the U.S. and — admit it, you have been waiting for this — Russia.
10 October 13
It's good seeing Nikolai Roshchin have the opportunity to work with space again, as he does with his new production of "Cruaute." As a joint product of Roshchin's A.R.T.O Theater and the Meyerhold Center, this show builds on the razor-sharp aesthetics of the tiny A.R.T.O while making use of the spatial freedom that the large black box at the Meyerhold provides.
03 October 13
Any story you hear is only part of a greater whole. It's an obvious fact, but one we usually forget to consider, at least in the theater. Then along comes a show like "The Tale About What We Can and What We Can't," which actually incorporates that truth into its structure.
1 2 3 4 5 ... 59
26 September 13
What a start to the new season! The hot new Gogol Center hit the ground running. Lyubimovka, as always, kicked everyone in the pants. The Meyerhold Center, after laying low a couple of seasons, is tossing out new shows like fireworks on a holiday. And that's just the beginning.