Boris Godunov – Bolshoi Theater
This story of intrigue, betrayal, and struggle for the Russian throne is the pearl in the crown of the Bolshoi Theater this season, and it’s somewhat like the Russian equivalent of Game of Thrones. Poet Alexander Pushkin popularized this true story of Tsar Boris Godunov and late 16th century Moscow court intrigue when he published his play in 1831. Almost 40 years later, however, Modest Mussorgsky transformed the play into an opera, which is now regularly performed on Moscow’s main stage.
The two September performances were sold out, but tickets are available for the end of October and range from 2,800 to 8,000 rubles ($50 – $140).
English subtitles appear on a screen at both the Bolshoi’s historic and new stages. As a rule, all operas at the Bolshoi have English subtitles.
Find the performance schedule here.
…Souls – Pyotr Fomenko Workshop Theatre
Nikolai Gogol’s characters intertwine in this performance, based on the author’s famous book, Dead Souls, which is famous as a ferocious satire on social mores and structures in early 19th century Russia. The authors promise “a mix of buffoonery, the search for truth, eccentricity, satire, and violations of commonly accepted rules.” The trailer, certainly looks grotesque, though promising.
This surreal “search for truth” will cost you between 1,000 and 7,000 rubles ($17-$120).
Upon request, non-Russian speakers are provided with tablets that support subtitles in various languages, including English. Almost all performances at the Pyotr Fomenko Workshop Theater are equipped with tablets, but they need to be booked at least one day before the show. For more details, go here.
Dead Souls – Gogol Center
This modernist interpretation of Gogol’s literary classic is staged by Kirill Serebrennikov, the famous theater and movie director. Judging by the fact that most seats for the performance on Sept. 26 are already sold out, it’s quite clear that the famous 19th-century novel is still timely and relevant to people today. Fees for remaining tickets range from 1,500 to 3,000 rubles ($25 – $50).
Note: this might be the only one of Serebrennikov’s performances available with English subtitles.
Educating Rita – Mayakovsky Theatre
The Moscow English Theatre (MET) is bragging that Lord Melvyn Bragg, a British broadcaster, has described its new production, Educating Rita, as a truly “magnificent” performance. This comedy about a young hairdresser and a not so young professor will be on stage at the Mayakovsky Theatre on Oct. 7 and 8. Founded in Moscow in 2013, the MET specializes in staging exclusively English language productions in the Russian capital and now calls the Mayakovsky venue its home.
The Blue Bird – Stanislavsky Electrotheater
This “life story” of the theatre’s two former actors is fictionalized and performed in three parts over three separate evenings, all directed by the famous Boris Yukhananov, who is also the theatre’s artistic director. The core idea is to let the characters, Vladimir Korenev and Aleftina Konstantinova, talk about the war years, their childhood, as well as filmmaking, and their colleagues at the Stanislavsky Theater.
The first evening opened on Sept. 16 and the other two followed on Sept. 17 and 18. Seats ranged from 1,000 to 5,000 ($17 – $90). For more details, visit the official webpage. The Stanislavsky Electrotheater regularly stages performances that accommodate foreign audiences. The details, however, should be checked in advance.
This post originally appeared on Russia Beyond The Headlines on September 15, 2017 and has been reposted with permission.
This post was written by the author in their personal capacity.The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the view of The Theatre Times, their staff or collaborators.