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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

MARQUEE: Great Actor Remembered




The memory of Rostislav Plyatt was honored Monday by a variety concert at the Mossoviet Theater on what would have been the actor's 90th birthday. He died in 1990 after a long career in film and theater that made him one of the most popular performers of his generation.


Sergei Yursky set the tone for the evening by reminding everyone that the concert was organized to pay tribute to Plyatt's legendary sense of humor, rather than mourn his loss. And indeed for the next three hours a long string of celebrated actors, musicians and dancers kept the tone light and whimsical. Mikhail Shirvindt performed a hilarious Plyatt skit about an actor making the rounds of sanitorium cafeterias followed by visits to hospitals to recuperate.


Ilze Liepa danced a whimsical piece called "The Hooligan," and jazz pianist Igor Bril treated the audience to a rambling blues piece sprinkled with themes from Gershwin.


The highlight of the concert was a performance by the young men's jazz quintet XXI Vek. Five boys in their early teens put on an extraordinary display of foot-tapping jazz and blues technique featuring snappy solos on saxophone, piano and percussion.


Interspersed among the acts were film clips from several of Plyatt's most popular roles, including his first big film success, "The Orphan" (1940), and one of his most beloved theater roles, a duet with the great actress Faina Ranevskaya in the 1969 show of "And Then, Silence."


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The Theater Na Perovskoi this season has continued the leaps back and forth in time that it began last year with a mix of productions of contemporary works and Russian classics from the 18th century.


Director Kirill Panchenko opened the current campaign with two shows by contemporary authors, "Night Visitor, or "Wedding with a Stranger" by Yury Mamleyev and "Fools Line Up by Height" by Nikolai Kolyada.


Next, Panchenko will be unveiling his production of Aristophanes' 2,400-year-old comedy "Lysistrata." One of the most enduring of the ancient Greek plays, "Lysistrata" tells the story of a women's revolt during the Peloponnesian War when the wives of the men on both sides of the conflict join together and agree to deny their husbands sexual favors until they quit fighting. "Lysistrata" is scheduled to open Dec. 30 and 31.


- John Freedman