The Mossovet TheatreRussian: Teatr imeni Mossoveta or Театр имени Моссовета is very a traditional theatre. If you would prefer a more modern take on the theatre arts, head to, perhaps, the Gogol CentreRussian: Gogol-tsentr or Гоголь-центр. The Mossovet theatre is well-known, its history dating back to the 1930s. It is located in a picturesque garden called AquariumRussian: Аквариум in the Garden Ring Russian: Sadovoye koltso or Садовое кольцо(Russian: Sadovoye koltso or Садовое кольцо), where various Moscow events take place. The spirits of the two most prominent participants in 20th century theatre, K. Stanislavsky and Y. Vakhtangov, are alive here. One of their students was Y. Zavadsky, a famous artistic manager of the theatre from 1940 to 1977. He played Prince Calaf in Vakhtangov’s legendary production of “Turandot”. Lyubov Orlova, Rostislav Plyatt, and Faina Ranevskaya also performed at the Mossovet theatre during that time. Fans of the latter will enjoy a small memorial exhibition dedicated to the famous actress in one of the rooms on the first floor. Outstanding contemporary actors and actresses Olga Ostroumova, Georgy Taratorkin, Sergei Yursky, Olga Kabo, and Viktor Sukhorukov perform on the theatre stage today.
At present, Andrei Konchalovsky is staging classics – Chekhov’s “Uncle VanyaRussian: Dyadya Vanya or Дядя Ваня”, “Three SistersRussian: Tri sestry or Три сестры”, and “The Cherry OrchardRussian: Vishnyovyi sad or Вишневый сад” – on the grand stage. The extremely popular rock opera “Jesus Christ SuperstarRussian: Iisus Khristos - superzvezda or Иисус Христос - суперзвезда” by A.L. Webber and T. Rice, which has been adopted for the theatre by Pavel Kholmsky, has been staged at the theatre for many years. You can also watch stage adaptations of F. Dostoyevsky’s works at the Mossovet Theatre, including: “The Village of Stepanchikovo and Its Inhabitants” (a performance called “Foma OpiskinRussian: Фома Опискин”) and “Crime and Punishment” (the play “R.R.R.Russian: Р.Р.Р.”). Nevertheless, its repertoire is rather diverse. For example, Sergei Yursky has staged two absurd comedies – “The Ante-RoomRussian: Predbannik or Предбанник” and “Polonaise, or an Evening of the AbsurdRussian: Polonez. ili Vecher absurda or Полонез, или Вечер абсурда”. These performances are played “Under the RoofRussian: Pod kryshey or Под крышей”, as the the second, smaller stage is known. On the same stage you can watch “The ReserveRussian: Zapovednik or Заповедник” –Moscow’s only stage adaptation of the legendary piece of prose by S. Dovlatov.
Plays by Soviet playwrights are also staged here. Among them are A. Arbuzov (“My Poor MaratRussian: Moy bednyi Marat or Мой бедный Марат”), M. Roshchin (“The Silver AgeRussian: Serebryanyi vek or Серебряный век”), L. Zorin (“The Roman Comedy. DionRussian: Rimskaya komediya. Dion or Римская комедия. Дион”). The latter premiered in 2014. Soviet playwright Leonid Zorin (most people know him as the author of the play the film “Pokrovsky Gate” is based on) tells the story of the confrontation between a treacherous emperor Domitian and the witty satirical poet Dion. Despite the antique theatrical scenery (the action takes place in Ancient Rome), the theme of confrontation between the authorities and intellectuals was topical 50 years ago, just as it is now.
The old Aquarium garden in Moscow, where the Mossovet Theatre is located, appeared at the end of the 19th century, in the place where the old vegetable gardens of the Novodevichy ConventRussian: Novodevichy monastyr or Новодевичий монастырь used to be. This was a recreational area for Moscow dwellers. Initially, the theatre was part of the garden and it hosted excellent comic sketches and operettas. The Moscow Music hall was opened in the building after the socialist revolution in 1917. It was described as the Variety Theatre in the famous novel “The Master and Margarita” by M. Bulgakov, who lived in a house nearby (10, Bolshaya SadovayaRussian: Большая Садовая str.). The Moscow City Council TheatreThe full name of the Mossovet Theatre, which previously had no place of its own, settled down in the Aquarium in 1959. The present building was constructed especially for it in the depth of the garden. It was built by M. Zhirov, a famous Soviet architect and A. Vesnin’s student. The influence of Constructionism and Stalin’s Empire stylearchitecture of the Soviet Union under the leadership of Joseph Stalin, between 1933 and 1955 are reflected in his work. The theatre has kept its “Soviet” name even after the perestroikaReformation period in the Soviet Russia and over the years, it has firmly established itself on the cultural map of the city and the country.