New York City Center
130 West 56th St. between Sixth & Seventh Aves.
June 14-17, $45-$155
(June 13 Q&A, NYPL, 18 West 53rd St., free with advance registration, 7:30)
In 2016, Russia’s State Theatre of Nations presented Shukshin’s Stories, starring People’s Artists of Russia Chulpan Khamatova and Evgeny Mironov, at City Center as part of the Cherry Orchard Festival of the Arts. The troupe is now back for the sixth annual фестиваль, staging Anton Chekhov’s Ivanov June 14-17. The show, the first full-length Chekhov work to be performed, premiered in 1887 at the Korsh Theatre, which is now home to the State Theatre of Nations. “My goal is to kill two birds with one stone: to paint life in its true aspects, and to show how far this life falls short of the ideal life,” Chekhov wrote in a letter to poet A. N. Pleshcheyev in April 1889, and he certainly attempted to accomplish that in Ivanov, which he significantly revised two years after its initial run. Thirty-three-year-old Russian opera and theater wunderkind Timofey Kulyabin (Macbeth, Kill) directs, with Mironov as title antihero Ivanov Nikolai, who is trying to again become the man he once was, and Khamatova as his wife, Anna/Sarah; the cast also features Victor Verzhbitsky as Shabelskiy Matvey, Elizaveta Boyarskaya as Sasha, Alexander Novin as Borkin Mikhail, Igor Gordin as Lebedev Pavel, Natalya Pavlenkova as Lebedev Zinaida, Dmitriy Serduk as Lvov Evgeny, Marianna Schults as Babakina Marfa, and Alexey Kalinin as Dmitriy Kosykh. Oleg Golovko designed the sets and costumes, with lighting by Denis Solntsev and contemporary dramatic adaptation by Roman Dolzhansky.
Founded in 2012, the Cherry Orchard Festival seeks to “introduce and promote global cultural activity and exchange of ideas to enlighten and engage an inter-generational audience through entertaining and educational programs and events in all genres,” per its mission statement. Tickets for the nearly three-hour show, which was nominated for several Golden Mask National Theatre Awards and will be performed in Russian with English supertitles, are $45 to $155, with some sections having already sold out. In addition, on June 13 at 7:30, the 53rd St. branch of the New York Public Library will be hosting “Meet-the-Artists of the State Theatre of Nations,” consisting of a free discussion and Q&A with Mironov, Khamatova, Boyarskaya, Gordin, Novin, and Verzhbitskiy as well as festival cofounders and executive producers Maria Shclover and Irina Shabshis.