Moscow theatres are a great place to visit. After all, Russia has got a very strong theatrical tradition.
There are dozens of theatres in Moscow alone, large and small, good and...not so good.
It would take ages to list them all, but there is no need for that. Only a portion of them really deserves your attention.
So let's concentrate on the major ones,shall we?
Bolshoi Theatre is the most known Russian theatre. In fact, it's famous far beyond the Russian borders, as Bolshoi's opera singers and ballet dancers are critically acclaimed throughout the world.
Simply put, Bolshoi Theater is the leader in its field, there's simply no other Russian theater that can compete with it.
However, you may find opera and ballet a little bit too heavy. In that case you can either visit some of experimental plays like "Children of Rozenthal" or just get to beautiful Teatralnaya Square in front of Bolshoi to make some excellent pictures.
Simply put, "Lenkom" is legendary. Formed in 1938, it has always engaged in daring experiments.
I guess that's what made it a leader.
"Lenkom" was the first Moscow theater to stage a rock opera - "Unona i Avos'". Mind it happened in 1981 USSR, way before Perestroika!
I can only imagine the guts it took.
I've attended "Lenkom" several times, and it has always been a terrific experience. Excellent actors, great stories, rich decorations - and that unique, charming atmosphere.
...and yes, I've seen "Unona i Avos'". It was fantastic. A pity that Nikolai Karachentsev doesn't perform anymore. I think that was his best role.
Visit "Lenkom" at 6, Malaya Dmitrovka st.
"Satirikon" was created by Arkadii Raikin, the great Soviet actor and comedian.
This theater used to have another name and was locationed in St. Petersburg. Rumors say it was comrade Brezhnev's idea to move "Satirikon" to Moscow.
A unique case, I might add.
"Satirikon" is run by Konstantin Raikin. A nepotism? Not at all. Konstantin is a very talented actor and director. Thanks to him, the theater prospers.
(Taken from the official site)
"Satirikon" loves to experiment. Sometimes it even beats "Lenkom". But I shouldn't say that, because both these Moscow theatres deserve the first place.
The theater is located at 8, Sheremetyevskaya st.
Pronounced "Em-Kha-Te", this theater was founded by famous Stanislavsky in 1898! It's probably the oldest one of Moscow theatres apart from "Maly".
These days, it's run by Oleg Tabakov, one of the leading Soviet and Russian actors.
The repertoire of "MHT" is more of a classical. Lately, it has been staging less formal dramas, such as "Playing the victim".
I don't think it was a good idea. Unlike "Lenkom" and "Satirikon", "MHT" has gone too far, using obscene language in the acts.
However, you will surely enjoy the "old-school" performances.
The address is 3, Kamergersky side-st.
This theatre devotes itself to comedy in every given form. It became famous thanks to the duet of Alexander Shirvindt and Mikhail Derzhavin, probably the best Russian comedians.
(Taken from the official site)
But don't think you should come only to have fun, as some of the show will make you laugh through tears.
Not many Moscow theatres can match this level of acting, and that is what I call the ultimate art of comedy.
This Moscow theatre is located at 2, Triumphalnaya square.
This one is a relative newcomer, established in 1954. Comedy is its main area of expertise, although some of the acts are more serious.
Moscow Variety Theatre also houses musicles, kids shows, and benefit performances.
Some of the top Soviet actors and comedians worked there, including Gennady Hazanov, Oleg Basilashvili,Alexander Abdulov and Vera Alentova.
Not sure what show to choose? Try "A Dinner With A Fool". This is one of theatre's top shows.
The address is 20/2, Bersenevskaya embankment.
This one is my personal favorite. "Sovremennik" means "contemporary", and it surely stands to that name.
Most of the acts are written in the theater for the theater. It appeals to spectators in a modern language, addressing present issues and challenges.
In fact, the theater was created in 1956 by young actors who wanted to oppose the lies of the regime. Young people have always been its audience, and soon "Sovremennik" became popular among them.
The creation and success of "Sovremennik" was a small revolt against the dogmatic Moscow theatres, who supported the official propaganda.
Some of my favorite actors work there. I especially adore the work of Sergey Garmash and Chulpan Hamatova.
Chulpan holds annual charity performances, helping the kids with leukemia. I was deeply touched when I learned about it.
Sergey Garmash always stuns me with the depth of his characters. Over the years, he grew into a true master of play. Today, he is quite popular both in theater and on TV.
"Sovremennik" is located at 19A, Chistoprudnyi blvrd.
I put this theatre last for a good reason. In my opinion, you should only visit it to picture the building.
"Maly theatre" is supposed to be the leader, but it's not. I don't recall it staging any good performances at all!
I only mentioned it because I didn't want you to think I forgot.
Don't waste your time on it unless you really know what you are doing.
If you still want to visit it - here are the contacts.
The main building is located at 1/6 Teatralnaya sqr.
The secondary building sits at 69, Bolshaya Ordynka st.