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01 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.
27 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?"
20 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.
13 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.
06 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.
30 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.
16 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.
25 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.
18 September 13
The new season at Moscow's newest theater, the Gogol Center, kicked off where the last one ended — with performances of the theater's latest production, "Fear."
11 September 13
A quick glance at the shows slated to open during the 2013-2014 theater season in Moscow might make you raise an eyebrow.
04 September 13
It wasn't planned to happen like this, but it did. Gleb Cherepanov's production of "I Wish to Speak" opened just one week before the Sept. 8 Moscow mayoral election.
31 July 13
This season has seen some stark developments in Russian theater, with the recently opened Gogol Center leading the way.
25 July 13
There are plenty of laughs in Yegor Peregudov's production of Alexander Ostrovsky's "An Ardent Heart" at the Sovremennik Theater.
17 July 13
Konstantin Raikin plays games with the title of his new "London Show" at the Satirikon Theater. "Show" is the way Russian writes and pronounces the last name of George Bernard Shaw, and London is where Shaw's most famous play, "Pygmalion," is set.
10 July 13
There is no way I will satisfactorily translate "Zaklikukhi," the title of a new production playing on the small stage of the Satirikon Theater.
03 July 13
Alexei Dudarev's play "The Privates" appeared in 1985 on the 40th anniversary of the end of World War II. The tale, about a small group of soldiers living out the final days of the conflict, was hugely popular throughout the Soviet Union. In Moscow it played at the Maly Theater and in Leningrad at the Bolshoi Drama Theater.
26 June 13
There are some things you never expect to see. An old Leo Tolstoy, shaved. The politician Vladimir Zhirinovsky with his mouth closed. The writings of Osip Mandelstam produced on stage.
19 June 13
Bunin's tale of two lovers, taken to the stage by Vladislav Nastavshev, is a dreamy, touching and unusual adaptation.
12 June 13
Lars Von Trier's original characters spiral away from 'normality,' but Serebrennikov's production is immaculately constructed.
05 June 13
Luchino Visconti's classic 1960s film "Rocco and his Brothers" as a Russian stage play in 2013? Not an obvious transformation, perhaps, but one that clearly was waiting for the right people to come along and do it.
29 May 13
Nikita Kobelev's production of Henrik Ibsen's "An Enemy of the People" accomplishes the inevitable. It puts contemporary politics on the big stage of a velvet-seated, mainstream Moscow theater.
22 May 13
"Christmas at the Ivanovs" is one of the quiet classics of 20th-century Russian drama, and it comes across exactly as that in Denis Azarov's production at the Gogol Center.
15 May 13
A theatrical feast for theatrical gluttons: In its 11th running since the inaugural festival in 1992, spanning eight weeks to the day, it will begin this Sunday and conclude on July 14.
12 May 13
"Odd People" by Maxim Gorky. A Comedy. That's what the program says, and that's what director Yury Ioffe aimed for in his intimate production on the small stage of the Mayakovsky Theater.
29 April 13
It has been a year since star actor Oleg Menshikov took over the Yermolova Theater, and a further five months since he reopened the venerable old venue with a new repertoire. Now, for the first time, he has taken to the stage himself in a new production: A dramatization of Oscar Wilde's novel "The Picture of Dorian Gray."
25 April 13
Annie Baker, an American playwright who hails from New England, is continuing to forge a professional relationship with Russia.
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17 April 13
The 19th annual Golden Mask Festival award ceremony began with a drum roll and a walking bass line from the Oleg Lundstrem Jazz Orchestra and ended with standing ovations for six veteran theater artists who were honored with lifetime achievement awards.