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What's On in Moscow Oct. 22-24

Our picks for the pre-lockdown weekend.

Ella Olsson / pexels

Go healthy, go vegan

For all you vegetarians, vegans, people with restricted diets and anyone who wants to eat more healthy food — this is an expo for you. At the Veg-Life Expo you can sample and buy thousands of products from more than 100 companies, ranging from every kind of non-dairy milk to superfoods to vegan products, nuts, oils, sweets, and grains. In addition to food, there will be natural cosmetics and body care products; eco-clothing, coats, hats and shoes; and everything you need for a healthier lifestyle, like exercise mats and kitchen appliances. There will be talks and lectures, lotteries, and a big food court where everything is guaranteed to be vegetarian or vegan. Admission is free. For more information, see the site here.

										 					Ella Olsson / pexels
Ella Olsson / pexels

Become a wood sprite

On Saturday from 10:30 a.m. until 4 p.m., the Darwin Museum is going to celebrate everything to do with woodlands, with games, talks, quests, and dozens of other activities for kids. Here the indoor woods will be filled with wood sprites (лешие); mushrooms real, magical and created by small hands; forest plants including some that are meat-eaters; miraculous things seen only through a microscope; and even special hand-made charms to protect small people when they take walks in the woods. Of course, if you tire of forest-lore, the rest of this marvelous museum of nature is open to exploration. To get into the spirit of the day, come dressed as a wood sprite and get in free. For more information, see the museum site.


Buy a ticket to hear an American jazz great

It’s rare these days that a truly big musical star makes it through coronavirus restrictions to come to perform in Moscow. And it’s even rarer that there are still tickets for a concert that will still take place. But on the eve of the partial lockdown in Moscow, Oct. 27, jazz great Wynton Marsalis will perform with his Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra in the Kremlin Palace. The occasion is the 60th birthday of Russia’s jazz great Igor Butman. The evening with special guest stars including Larisa Dolina, Valery Syutikin, and singer and saxophonist Sergei Mazayev promises to be memorable. For more information and tickets, see the site here. Note: The Kremlin Palace is a Covid-Free zone, and you must show a QR code or a negative PCR test done within 72 hours of the concert.


Get electrified at the Museum of Moscow

In the past few years, the Museum of Moscow has gone from an earnest if old-fashioned museum of artifacts and models of Moscow’s past to a platform — real and virtual — for innovative and surprising exhibitions about he city’s past and present. The museum’s latest show is on what seems at first read to be the rather ho-hum topic of early 20th century electrification. But the State Commission on the Electrification of Russia — Russian acronym GOELRO — formed by order of Vladimir Lenin in 1920 didn’t just bring streetlights and elevators to the country. It inspired stories, plays, children’s books, movies, sculptures, and art by some of the finest artists and writers of the time, including the Vesnin brothers, Alexander Deineka, Robert Falk and Andrei Platonov. It was then, the curators show us, that the myth appeared of the Leader here to usher in new energy, new light, and a new world. It closes after this weekend, so be sure to see it if you haven’t already.

If you can’t visit the show in person, there is an excellent site designed especially for the show that will take you on a virtual tour, introduce you to the arts of electrification, let you play with dancing light and sound with your cursor, and much more.

On Saturday evening, students from the Brusnikin Studio of Moscow Art Theater School and the Praktika Theater will put on a performance of “Electrification. General Concepts” based on texts by Andrei Platonov:  a brochure by that name he wrote in 1921 and the play “High Voltage” he wrote in 1931. The performance is described as “an attempt to look back at the documents from the age of electrification by a generation who grew up with a different experience of information velocity.” Tickets to the performance are free and available here.  Tickets to the exhibition are also free and available here.

										 					Sergei Vedyashkin / Moskva News Agency
Sergei Vedyashkin / Moskva News Agency

Movie nights

Since 2010 the Beat Festival has brought documentaries and music films to Russia, filling halls with film lovers eager to see the newest, most offbeat, most insightful, and sometimes most beautiful films from around the world. Today streaming services may have taken away some of the excitement, but still – there’s nothing like the big screen. Information about the final weekend of films, program and tickets can be found here.

At Pioner you can see a new film starring Benedict Cumberbatch called “The Electrical Life of Louis Wain,” about an eccentric artist trying to discover the mysteries of electricity while painting, gloriously, cats. The theater is also showing “Dune,” “No Time to Die,” and “Eiffel.” Those films as well as “Venom-2” are still playing around town. Kids might like “Ron’s Gone Wrong” about a robotic best friend who malfunctions that is playing at several theaters across town. Among other films, the Art Theater is showing “Petrov’s Flu” (in Russian, by Kirill Serebrennikov) and “Halloween Kills,” your basic gory Halloween story.

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