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What's On in Moscow May 14-16

Our picks for the weekend in and around the capital.

Andrei Nikerichev / Moskva News Agency

Night in the Museum

Moscow began to celebrate a Night in the Museum not long ago, but the event quickly became a favorite of Muscovites of all ages. There is something delightfully transgressive about being in a public place after hours, when the lights are usually off and the doors shut tight. Last year it was held online, but this year many museums in and around the city will be offering special events well into the evening on Saturday night. See the site for a full list of possible evening entertainments.

Your kids might enjoy a backstage tour of the Obraztsov Puppet Theater or an evening of a Harry Potter sand painting concert at the beautiful St. Andrews Church right behind the mayor’s office in the city center (at 5:30 p.m.). If you have curious children ages seven to eleven, take them to the Marina Tsvetayeva house museum at 6 p.m. for a special interactive tour called “There’s nothing interesting behind that door” — except, of course, it’s very interesting indeed to go into all the back rooms and store rooms that are usually locked up tight. For more information and registration, see the site here.

Active kids would certainly enjoy learning all kinds of useful medieval skills, like shooting arrows and cutting firewood, at the Archer’s Museum near the Tretyakov Gallery. But the best treat would be a trip to the Mosquarium at VDNH Park at 10 p.m., because what could be cooler than wandering around and under and above swimming sharks at night?

										 					Moskva News Agency
Moskva News Agency

For a concert in a beautiful, unexpected location, head over to the Museum of Decorative and Applied Arts at 4 p.m. for a string concert on a balcony.

For a day outside the city, head out to Peredelkino at noon on a bus from the Voznesensky Center for the Voznesensky Fest — a day of music, poetry recitals, talks and nature. While you’re there, stop in at the Pasternak House Museum and the Yevgeny Yevtushenko Museum  Gallery for more events.

For night owls, after a long, leisurely dinner, head over to the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center at 10 p.m. for a full night of tours of art and history, an audio performance by poet Lev Rubenshtein, an excursion into the legends and myths of Jewish cuisine called “If the stuffed fish could speak,” and a synthpop concert by Nastavshevs and Lubennikov. Be sure to fill up on coffee — their Night in the Museum ends at 3 a.m. And don't forget to register ahead of time; see their site for more information and times of events. 

										 					Sergei Kiselyov / Moskva News Agency
Sergei Kiselyov / Moskva News Agency

Summer Cinema and Bulgakov Festival

This weekend Moscow’s outdoor cinemas open for the season with some great films. Karo is opening a third outdoor theater — after the Hermitage and Sadovniki Gardens — in the courtyard of the Museum of Moscow. You can get comfortable in one of 150 beanbag chairs to watch “Ilych’s Gate,” the first version of the beloved film “I Am Twenty” by Marlen Khutsiev Saturday night at 9 p.m. See the Karo site for more details and information about their other cinemas.

Meanwhile, the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art is beginning their outdoor cinema season with some fascinating films. On Saturday night at 8:30 p.m. you can see “El Planeta,” a very quirky American-Spanish comedy about a mother and daughter. In English and Spanish with Russian subtitles. On Sunday evening at the same time you can see a Hong Kong production called “Days of Being Wild,” filmed in more than five different languages (including English and Chinese), shown with Russian subtitles. For more information about the cinema, exhibitions and other events, see the museum site

If you want to stay inside, consider attending some events hosted by Moskino as part of their celebration of the 130th birthday of writer and screenwriter Mikhail Bulgakov. On Saturday at 7 p.m. the newly restored Art Theater will show free of charge “Morpheus,” directed by Alexei Balabanov and based on Bulgakov’s “Notes of a Young Doctor” and “Morpheus.” Tickets will be available from noon on Friday. For tickets and information about a tour of the Aquarium Garden (prime Bulgakov territory), see the site here. “Ivan Vasilyev Changes Professions” and “A Dog’s Heart,” both based on works by Bulgakov, will be shown at a number of venues around the city. For more information, see the Moskino site here.


Save the Date: “Gorbachev” at the Theater of Nations

Last October the Theater of Nations premiered a two-person play called “Gorbachev” starring Yevgeny Mironov as Mikhail Sergeyevich and Chulpan Khamatova as Raisa. Adapted for the stage and directed by Latvian stage director Alvis Hermanis, the three-hour play is actually a love story set against the background of politics. It is performed in what looks like a backstage dressing room. In the first few minutes, the two actors work on getting into the roles — Mironov practices a dead-on Gorbachev imitation and Khamatova tries to get Raisa’s breathy voice down. And then, without the audience noticing how and when it happened, the two actors become Mikhail and Raisa, slipping behind a rack of clothing to age into a new decade, growing older before your eyes. At the end of the performance, the audience leapt to their feet and applauded for a long time, and even a few burly older men were wiping away tears. There are once again a few performances of this remarkable production, and tickets are still available for May 20, 26; June 2, 5 and 22.  For more information and ticket sales, see the site here.

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