Magazine article The New Yorker

Russian Rush; Portrait by Richard Avedon

Magazine article The New Yorker

Russian Rush; Portrait by Richard Avedon

Article excerpt

"Forbidden Christmas, or the Doctor and the Patient," a new play by Rezo Gabriadze, has a simple, even naive, story, set in the Stalinist Georgia of Gabriadze's childhood. A man named Chito (Mikhail Baryshnikov) is abandoned by his fiancee in favor of a dashing fellow with a fancy car. Chito thereupon decides that he is a car. Seven years later, on Christmas Eve of 1952, he pulls up at the house of the town doctor (Jon DeVries), another maniac. A little girl is dying, Chito says; the doctor must come. The rest of the play concerns the two men's misadventures as they stagger through a blizzard to the girl's house. There is a surprise ending and a lesson in faith--a resource hard to come by in the U.S.S.R. in 1952. It's all presided over by an angel in red spats (the former Joffrey Ballet dancer Luis Perez). Think Capra.

This is more than a play, however. …

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