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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

MARQUEE: New Theater Explores Love




The Russky Dom Theater Club is the newest local playhouse to open its doors for business. For starters, director Alexander Velikovsky chose "Three Anecdotes About Love," a simple play by the prolific St. Petersburg playwright Alexander Obraztsov. Set in the mid-1970s, it isone of 50 plays Obraztsov has written over the years.


As suggested in the title, the play consists of three incidents illustrating the complexities that arise between men and women in states of coming together or drifting apart.


The first, "From Moscow to Leningrad," observes a couple on a bus and then an airplane as they struggle to recall a one-night stand they had 20 years earlier. The third, "All Cats Are Gray," unfolds at a commuter train stop in the wee hours of the night. A young woman on the run appeals to a bystander to help her fend off her lover when he comes to find her. Both pieces, performed to the almost constant accompaniment of a live guitar, are handled in a plain, realistic manner that provides little insight into their situations.


The humorous second segment, "The Suburb," stands out for its broad swathes of folk humor. Kolyaskin (Nikolai Ryabkov) is a thick-headed brute who has gone visiting with his flighty, flirtatious girlfriend Timofeyeva (Yelena Kondratyeva). Their host, Gorchichnikov (Igor Churikov), is a finicky autodidact who has his eye on the girl and eventually gets her -- until Kolyaskin comes to his senses.


Obraztsov's language seems juicier and more expressive here, and the actors have fun creating an endearing trio of lively, one-dimensional types. For information, call 924-5990.


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Following the inauguration of the Third Chekhov International Theater Festival with a week of performances by the American Repertory Company -- highlighted by Joseph Chaikin and Sam Shepard's "When the World Was Green" -- we now move on. The next seven days are dominated by local productions, although Thursday's opener at the Vakhtangov Theater of "The Masquerade" by the Maly Theater from Vilnius, Lithuania, promises to be of particular interest. It was named last season's best show in Lithuania. On Tuesday and Wednesday, we will see "Miss Knife," billed as a "real Berlin cabaret," on the small stage of the Russian Army Theater. For festival information, call 929-7070.


-- John Freedman