Reviews

Taking Tchaikovsky out of Russia's closet: Hershey Felder's ‘Our Great Tchaikovsky’ at the Wallis

Taking Tchaikovsky out of Russia's closet: Hershey Felder's ‘Our Great Tchaikovsky’ at the Wallis

Midway through Hershey Felder's one-man show, "Our Great Tchaikovsky," a touchingly idealistic moment occurs when the Russian composer says, "Music doesn't have a nationality. It is simply human."

If only the intolerant Russian government thought so. The tragedy of homophobia, still pervasive in Vladimir Putin's Russia, runs through Felder's play, now onstage at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts.

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, by all accounts gay and forced to remain closeted on penalty of being sent to Siberia (he was also easy prey for blackmailers), led a tortured life in 19th century Russia. Now as then, the country celebrated him for his...

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