Have a laugh
The Moscow Standup Café is making the end of January hilarious with a real star, straight from the U.S.: Avi Liberman. He was in Moscow and St. Petersburg last year doing sold-out shows, so if standup is your thing, buy a ticket right away for the gig on Saturday night (Jan. 22) at 7 p.m. Liberman, a native of Israel who grew up in Texas, went to college in New York and lives in Los Angeles, has done his comedy on just about every talk show on American television, on radio, and in the movies. Come for a good laugh! More information and tickets here.
Enjoy music in a magnificent hall
The original synodal chambers of the Orthodox eparchy in Moscow was a beautiful brick building that sadly was stripped of all its religious architecture and ornamentation right after the 1917 Revolution, covered with stucco, and turned into the kind of bland building you walk by without even noticing. After being returned to the Orthodox Church in 2004 and years of reconstruction, it is now part of an Orthodox seminary with halls for lectures and concerts. If you love a beautiful space and classical music, you might follow their concert schedule. This Friday (Jan. 21) there is a concert by the countertenor Mikhail Sherochenko performing works by Vivaldi, Bach, Handel, Shubert and others. Countertenors don’t perform often in Moscow, so it’s a special occasion. Check the site for upcoming events here.
Honor the past in Memory Week
This year Russia is holding its eighth “Memory Week,” a series of commemorative and educational events before and after International Holocaust Remembrance Day on Jan. 27, the day in 1945 that the Soviet Army liberated the Auschwitz concentration camp. Organized by the Russian Jewish Congress together with Russian governmental ministries and organizations, “Memory Week” is working in virtually every region of the country, with a great number of events in Moscow and St. Petersburg. A film festival is showing films at the Tretyakov Gallery theater and the Center for Documentary Film, and on Jan. 25 the musical performance “Esther’s Black Book,” directed by Yevgeny Berkovich in collaboration of the Bureau of Artistic Projects and the Brusnikin Studio, will be performed at the Boyar’s Palaces (Theatrical Union). On Jan. 27, Helikon Opera will host the commemorative evening “Guardian of Memory” which honors those who have kept the memory of the Holocaust alive. For more information and tickets, see the site here.
Save the date for a night in the Moscow Metro
If you love the idea of a slightly transgressive night tour of the Moscow Metro and a somewhat secret excursion through the National Hotel, where Vladimir Lenin, John Reed and Eloise stayed, click on the link right away to grab a ticket. Starting at 11 p.m. on Jan. 29 (the Jan. 28 tour is already sold out), you can first ride on a very retro metro car with a super-retro guide who will tell you all the secrets of the underground transportation system. Then at the hotel (separate ticket purchased after you buy the metro ticket), you get to peek into the Deluxe Suite, enjoy a kind of excursion-play (the ballerina Anna Pavlova might make an entrance) and then enjoy a buffet. The event is run by the Museum of Moscow, so you know it will be authentic. Metro tickets are 2500 rubles, and they are going fast. Click here for Jan. 29. Children must be at least 12 years old, and it appears to be all Russian.
Experience “New Nature” at Winzavod
Last summer we reported on the “New Nature” exhibit by the celebrated young artists of the Recycle Group, Andrei Blokhin and Georgy Kuznetsov that was held at the Manege Exhibition Hall in St. Petersburg. Originally working with recycled materials in their hometown of Krasnodar, they now use recycled material, optic fiber cable and a construction grid to create interactive sculptures and installations to explore how humans and technology interact and are changed through their interaction. Now the show is in Moscow at Winzavod, and if you like to be challenged artistically and are into new technology, this is the show for you. You can see photographs and read all about the St. Petersburg show here and more about the Moscow show and how to buy tickets here.