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MOSCOW'S CHEKHOV FESTIVAL TO BE HELD IN STYLE

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MOSCOW, APRIL 20 (RIA Novosti) - Throughout June and July, all major theater venues in Moscow will be ceded to the Chekhov Festival. This high-profile event will take place in the Russian capital for a sixth time already.

Comedie Francaise General Administrator Jean-Pierre Jourdain, Artistic Director of Theatre Vidy-Lausanne Rene Gonzalez, and French director Patrice Chereau have come over to Moscow for a preview.

Tonight Chereau goes on stage to read Fyodor Dostoyevsky's "Notes from Underground." He says the first time he did that was at a theater festival in Barcelona four years ago.

The Swiss company Vidy-Lausanne is bringing to Moscow a new production by the German composer and theater director Heiner Goebbels, "Eraritjaritjaka-Museum of Phrases." Eraritjaritjaka is an indigenous Australian word from the Arunta language, meaning "full of desire for something that has been lost." Goebbels builds action around musical improvisation, turning his show into an avant-garde gig (this time in collaboration with the Amsterdam-based quartet Mondrian). The production, to run in Moscow June 3, 4, and 5, is defined by Mr. Gonzalez as a thriller marrying poetry with technology.

The Chekhov Festival opens June 1 with an extravaganza featuring, among others, Urban Sax, a saxophone performing group from France.

Later on, the British director Declan Donnellan is to present to Moscow audiences his production of Anton Chekhov's "The Three Sisters" (June 24 to July 3).

One other highlight of this year's festival will be a new, unconventional production by the Swiss director Christoph Marthaler. It will be running at Moscow's Lenin Museum July 18 through 21.

Moscow's theater marathon is to culminate with Comedie Francaise's version of "The Forest,' by the Russian classical playwright Alexander Ostrovsky. This production has been put on for the famous French troupe by Russia's Pyotr Fomenko. Comedie Francaise's previous Moscow tour took place some twenty years ago.

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