"Moscow, Cheryomushki" (Chicago Opera Theater): *Spoiler Alert* MEGA-Happy Ending!

Dominic Armstrong, Emily Fons, Paul LaRosa, Adrian Kramer, Sara Heaton, Paul Scholten

Adrian Kramer as Sasha, Emily Fons as Masha in Chicago Opera Theatre's "Moscow, Cheryomushki", conducted by Alexander Platt, directed by Mike Donahue. (photo credit: Liz Lauren)
#85.  I first became interested in opera by watching a movie.  In “Philadelphia”, Tom Hanks describes a scene from “Andrea Chenier”.  As Maria Callas is singing powerfully, belting out her aria, Hanks is describing her anguish.  That was THE moment I started to immerse myself in this passionate genre.  I’ve seen probably 100 operas.  Most of them were heavy-duty subject matters:  insanity, incest, murder… sometimes all three. Opera is as dramatic as theatrics get.  Love is most often punishable by death.  But every once in a while, love survives with an operatic flourish of pure pleasure.

Chicago Opera Theater presents Moscow, Cheryomushki.  Housing, unemployment, socialism, Moscow is facing troubling economic times.  And even worse,  love is struggling to bloom.  Sasha and Masha, a couple of newlyweds, are forced to live apart.  Sergei adores Lusya from afar… she’s on top of a crane.  Boris is trying to find love that conveniently comes with an apartment.  Vava wants to be married, but to a sugar daddy.  When a new housing complex opens up, everyone is looking to shack up.   But who really holds the keys to their happiness?  Moscow, Cheryomushkiis the musical “Rent”… Russian style.

Read the rest of my review at Chicago Theater Beat.


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