American Playwright Margalit Gets Rare Censor-Free Production in Moscow With Trio, Opening Dec. 4

News   American Playwright Margalit Gets Rare Censor-Free Production in Moscow With Trio, Opening Dec. 4 In a country such as Russia, where most media is government controlled and nearly all theatre is state-run, it is extremely rare for a new play to receive a commercial production. It is even more rare for an American playwright to be on the receiving end of one. Israela Margalit's play Trio will defy both expectations at Moscow's Soveremenik Theater beginning Dec. 4.
From Top: Robert Schumann; Clara Schumman; Johannes Brahms
From Top: Robert Schumann; Clara Schumman; Johannes Brahms

Russian culture is rich in its classical music heritage, having produced such proven geniuses as Rimsky-Korsakov, Rachmaninoff and Tchaikovsky. Israela Margalit shares this passion with the Russian people and possesses her own unique knowledge of the form. As an internationally renowned concert pianist she has recorded most of the genre's well known pieces; as a New York City-produced playwright, she has written about two of its greatest composers, Robert Schumann and Johannes Brahms, in her play Trio, celebrating its world premiere overseas.

A five-character piece—directed by Peter Stein and produced by Evgeny Morozov—Trio, as its title aptly suggests, centers around the relationship between Schumann, his wife Clara and Brahms. The piece is described as a work of "dramatic fiction" based on actual historical data. The play was written in English and has been translated into Russian by Sergey Volinets.

After touring the Russian countryside for a month in an American-like out-of-town try-out, the play docks tuned-up and ready to go at the center of Russian politics and cultural life. This commercial production, which is marginally free of government control, will be preserved by "Culture", an arts channel on state-run Russian television, for later broadcast.

The former wife of New York Philharmonic Orchestra music director Lorin Maazel, with whom she shares son Ilann, Margalit has recorded all of the music for the production herself. She and her son, also a pianist, collaborated on a "4-hand" piece for the production.

Margalit's other plays, both produced in New York City in recent years, include 3 O'clock in Brooklyn and Night Blooming Jasmine, which is currently in development as a feature film under the supervision of director Giacomo Campiotti. She has written for PBS and A & E in the states, receiving an Emmy nomination for her work. Margalit has been a featured pianist on several recordings with the prominent EMI Classics label. Trio stars Emmanuil Vitorgan, Evgenia Kryukova, Dmitry Isaev, Alexander Loye and Roman Danilychev.

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