“Masquerade” of Rimas Tuminas: deja vu in Vakhtangov

Karina Ivashko, Голос России from 21 January, 2010

Moscow theatergoers are in expectation of today’s premiere: the Vakhtangov
Theatre invites the public to the “Masquerade” directed by Rimas
Tuminas.There are several reasons for the great interest to the new production. First
of all – it is about a very famous Vakhtangov Theater, which after Rimas
Tuminas came there as an Artistic director has become again one of the most
popular theatres in Moscow. After having headed the company in 2007, the
outstanding Lithuanian director in his repertoire policy devotes considerable
attention to the Russian classics. His reading of “Uncle Vanya” by
A.Chekhov, presented in this season, has created a furor in the theater world
and has become a huge success with the public. This time Tuminas brings on
stage the heroes of the drama written by Mikhail Lermontov,
“Masquerade”.The main motive of the Lermontov’ play – a costumed party with a love affair in
its centre- is in itself attractive to the Vakhtangov Theater, which stylistics
is based on the concept of “theater as a holiday”. It is no mere
chance that a few years ago there was an idea of including into the playbill of
the theatre of a Lithuanian performance from Vilnius, giving the Vakhtangov
stage to the Lithuanian touring company once in a while. But things turned out
differently. Rimas Tuminas has chosen the copyright renewal of the performance
of performed by the Vakhtangov actors. He was pretty confident that, due to the
peculiarities of the theatre school, and, above all, the individuality of each
actor, the performance will turn out to be a completely different
“Masquerade.” The main part of Arbenina is played by Evgeny Knyazev.
Each new role, even for such a master is very exciting, especially when it
comes to work with a courageous experimenter Rimas Tuminas.Well, a famous misanthrope Rimas Tuminas is still looking at the heroes with a
sad and mocking smile. And while the first “Masquerade” of Tuminas is
called the most captivating performance of the end of the last century, the
“take-two”, born within the walls of the Vakhtangov Theater, will
probably “shoot” and will not be drowned in the swift whirl of time
and of its new “masquerades”.