Slowly but surely, repertory companies known for merely setting out to entertain the public have now started considering rather more-serious drama scripts. Leonid Trushkin, the director of the Anton Chekhov Theater and one of those who has been re-thinking his theater's strategy, has met the challenge with his production of the complex philosophical play "The Price," by American playwright Arthur Miller.
In it, Trushkin has remained true to himself. Having preserved his style of "naive theater," he reveals the whole philosophy of the play through the emotions of the characters. One gets the feeling that the producer is interested most of all in their relationships, loves and hatreds, and in their attempts to find understanding and forgiveness, leaving the philosophical conclusions to spring out of the search for human understanding, as it were, by themselves.
Undoubtedly, it would not be possible to set about producing such a play without a first-rate cast. Trushkin, in fact, has chosen extremely well in every case. Also, it would be no surprise to discover that each of the four stars will be able to put their work in "The Price" on their list of "golden greats."
This especially concerns Anatoly Ravikovich, whose character, the appraiser Gregory Solomon, would be seemingly unremarkable were it not for the fact that he is a powerful mover of the action. Then there is the young actress, Vera Voronkova, for whom the role of Esther is probably the most demanding she has had. Additionally, the two brothers the pragmatic and ambitious Walter (Oleg Basilashvili) and the sincere, trusting Victor (Valery Zolotukhin) give performances that are notable for their precision and emotional coloring.
The producer has unquestionably managed not only to find the right actors but also successfully to formulate the highly complicated psychology of the interrelationships on which the play is primarily based. The result is that Leonid Trushkin has produced a tender, lyrical and harmonious version of a play that is about simple but eternal values. Love, trust and mutual understanding are things that are beyond the control of time because everyone is always in need of them.
The next performance is April 23
THE ANTON CHEKHOV THEATER
20 Bersenevskaya Nab.