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Autumn marathon

A preview of the fall season at one of the citys premier theaters.

Published: September 10, 2010 (Issue # 1608)


September is set to be a very busy month at the countrys oldest drama theater, according to Artistic Director Valery Fokin, speaking at a recent press conference. Two major events are taking place simultaneously, setting the theaters autumn marathon on track.

First, there is the opening of the Alexandrinskys 265th season with a new production of Shakespeares Taming of the Shrew, which premieres on Sept. 14 and 15 and promises to be the main show of the year. Then, for the fifth time, it hosts the International Theater Festival with several of Europes leading companies participating.

For The Taming of the Shrew, the theater has invited in Lithuanian director Oskaras Korshunovas. Though this is his first appearance at the Alexandrinsky, Korshunovas is known to Petersburg theater-goers thanks to his participation in the Baltic House Festival. He is based in Vilnius, where he heads the OKT Theater.

At the press conference, Korshunovas noted that during rehearsals he felt everyone was having a good time and laughing, which may not be surprising when staging a comedy. And yet, Shakespeares comedy is not as straight forward as it might appear superficially to be. Although everything ends well, and after a number of challenges the main characters find themselves and unite, fundamental questions remain unanswered questions about understanding yourself and your beloved, about what to do to preserve yourself if you have fallen in love, how to remain free if you are in love, and how to grant the same freedom to your beloved.

Korshunovas commented that he is well aware of the challenges and complexity of Shakespeare plays, finding in them reflections of human nature, the limits of freedom and chances for happiness. As he said at the press conference: I see this comedy as a play about the theater. We use improvisations and actors fantasies.

The production employs the best actors of the Alexandrinsky troupe, including Victor Smirnov, who recently celebrated his 65th birthday, and Semyon Sytnik, who this year was awarded the Golden Sofit for best actor. Original music was composed by Gintaras Sodeika.

Two days after the premiere, the Warsaw Teatr Narodowy opens the International Theater Festival at the Alexandrinsky. Polands principal drama theater will present the play Tango by Mrozek in a staging by the well known Polish director Jerzy Jarocki. In a career spanning over 60 years, Jarocki has staged literally hundreds of shows and has received all of Polands main theater prizes.

The modern Polish classic Tango, written in 1964 and shown in London in an adaptation by Tom Stoppard in 1966, discloses the roots of despotism and shows the way an idealist turns into a dictator. In the concluding scene, the actors perform a tango while the corpse of the lead characters murdered rival remains on the stage.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Thursday, Oct. 30


Dental-Expo St. Petersburg 2014 concludes today at Lenexpo. Welcoming specialists from throughout the federation, the forum is an opportunity for dentists to share tricks of the trade and peruse the most recent innovations in technology and equipment, with over 100 companies hocking their wares at the event.



Friday, Oct. 31


Put your grammar and logical thinking to the test in a fun and friendly environment during the British Book Centers Board Game Evening starting at 5 p.m. today. The event is free and all are welcome to attend.



Saturday, Nov. 1


The men and women who dedicate their lives to fitness get their chance to compete for the title of best body in Russia at todays Grand Prix Fitness House PRO, the nations premier bodybuilding competition. Not only will men and women be competing for thousands of dollars in prizes and a trip to represent their nation at Mr. Olympia but sporting goods and nutritional supplements will also be available for sale. Learn more about the culture of the Indian subcontinent during Diwali, the annual festival of lights that will be celebrated in St. Petersburg this weekend at the Culture Palace on Tambovskaya Ul. For 100 rubles ($2.40), festival-goers listen to Indian music, try on traditional Indian outfits and sample dishes highlighting the culinary diversity of the billion-plus people in the South Asian superpower.



Sunday, Nov. 2


Check out the latest video and interactive games at the Gaming Festival at the Mayakovsky Library ending today. Meet with the developers of the popular and learn more about their work, or learn how to play one of their creations with the opportunity to ask the creators themselves about the exact rules.



Monday, Nov. 3


Non-athletes can get feed their need for competition without breaking a sweat at the Rock-Paper-Scissors tournament this evening at the Cube Bar at Lomonosova 1. Referees will judge the validity of each matchup award points to winners while the citys elite fight for the chance to be called the best of the best. Those hoping to play must arrange a team beforehand and pay 200 rubles ($4.80) to enter.



Tuesday, Nov. 4


Attend the premiere of Canadian director Xavier Dolans latest film Mommy at the Avrora theater this evening. The fifth picture from the 25-year-old, it is the story of an unruly teenager but the most alluring (or unappealing) aspect is the way the film was shot: in a 1:1 format that is more reminiscent of Instagram videos than cinematic art. Tickets cost 400 rubles ($9.60) and snacks and drinks will be available.



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