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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

MARQUEE: Gladilin Play In Repertory Disappoints




Pyotr Gladilin has not been content to wait for others to stage his plays. In 1994, he self-produced his debut on the Moscow stage, "The Car in Flesh," while in 1995 he produced and directed his play "The Prophetic Dream." Now, for the first time, one of his plays has been picked up by a repertory theater. The work is "Another Person"; the venue is the Contemporary Play School.


The three plays are similar in that they employ small casts and offer especially sympathetic portrayals of female characters. They are also alike in that they tend to be outwardly unusual, but essentially conventional treatments of men and women in conflict.


In "Another Person," directed by Vadim Miroshnichenko, we have what appears to be a husband and wife team of 15 years who cannot remember each other. As they go back and forth through stages of denial and recognition, they eventually move toward a shared memory and rapprochement.


Irina Alfyorova, playing the woman who is awakened in the middle of the night by a man she does not know, is handed the meatier of the two roles. Less specifically defined than her mate, she is freer to develop individual quirks and characteristics as she searches for happiness and slowly discovers she is the mother of not one, not two, not three, but four children.


Her male counterpart, performed by Albert Filozov, often seems a grab-bag of male cliches.


Of course, he's a drunk; of course, he's a chauvinist who demands his wife remove his boots and ignores her as he watches television; he is also a crude thug who just killed his best friend in order to pocket a stash of money. Whether or not these really are attributes of the character -- they may be reversed in time -- they are all that we and the actor have to go on.


Filozov, an actor whose performances for Anatoly Vasilev in the 1970s and '80s are legendary, seems trapped by the superficiality and cliches of his character.


Alexander Lisyansky's design, a dream-like interior with 12 iron birds in flight dangling from the ceiling and snow drifts covering the floor, is effective but cannot hide the mediocrity of this play or its production.