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Entries / Akimov Comedy Theatre

Akimov Comedy Theatre

Categories / Art/Music, Theatre/Theaters, Concert Organizations

AKIMOV COMEDY THEATRE (56 Nevsky Prospect). Founded in 1926 as the Satire Theatre (private non-repertory company). Originally, it mainly produced so-called programme-reviews comprised of burning miniatures. B.A. Babochkin, L.O. Utesov and other famous actors performed at the theatre. In 1929, it became a state theatre and then in 1931 joined with the Comedy Theatre's troupe and the former Passage troupe (E.M. Granovskaya, S.N. Nadezhdin) to become the Satire and Comedy Theatre, and in 1933 was finally named the Comedy Theatre. The theatre's golden age came during N.P. Akimov directorship (1935-49 and 1955-68). He brought out the troupe's professional potential and strengthened its direction (with actors L.P. Sukharevskaya, I.P. Gosheva, I.P. Zarubina, E.V. Yunger, E.P. Garin, B.M. Tenin, A.D. Beniaminov, S.N. Filippov, B.A. Smirnov, and directors G.M. Kozintsev, S.I. Yutkevich, N.S. Rashevskaya, A.I. Remizova) and concentrated mainly on the classical "cloak-and-dagger" form of comedy. The best productions of that period are The Dog in the Manger (1936 and 1949) and The Widow from Valencia (1939) by Lope de Vega; R.-B. Sheridan's The School for Scandal (1937); and W. Shakespeare's Twelfth Night (1938 and 1964) in M.L. Lozinsky's new translation. The theatre staged contemporary Soviet and foreign plays by V.V. Shkvarkin, A.N. Arbuzov, J.B. Priestley, and vaudevilles by E. Labiche. In the late 1930s, the theatre found its main playwright in the person of E.L. Schwarz (The Shadow, 1940 and 1960; The Dragon, 1944 and 1962; Ordinary Wonder, 1956; The Story of A Young Married Couple, 1957). In 1941-45 the Comedy Theatre was evacuated to the Caucasus, then to Tadjikistan (the best productions of that period are Pygmalion by G.B. Shaw, 1943; Krechinsky's Wedding by A.V. Sukhovo-Kobylin, 1943 and 1966; Lev Gurych Sinichkin to D.T. Lenskoy' story, 1945 and 1962). Upon returning to the Comedy Theatre in 1955, Akimov revived the best productions of the past and staged plays by young playwrights he had come to associated with, as well as works by Russian and foreign classics (including The Inspector General by N.V. Gogol, 1958; Motley Stories to A.P. Chekhov 1960; Sukhovo-Kobylin's The Case, 1964; Don Juan by G. Byron, 1963) and modern foreign authors, including Eduarde de Filippo and F. Durrenmatt. In 1967, the Comedy Theatre received academic status, and named after Akimov in 1989. The Comedy Theaters main directors included V.S. Golikov (1970-76, The Village of Stepanchikovo and Its Inhabitants to F.M. Dostoevsky, 1970; G.B. Shaw's The Apple Cart , 1972; A.N. Ostrovsky's Fervent Heart, 1973); and P.N. Fomenko (1977-81, Ostrovsky's Wood, 1978). The company boasted the involvement of actors such as Н.N. Trofimov, L.M. Milinder, B.A. Ulitin, V.E. Nikitenko, V.A. Karpova, O.S. Antonova, A.Y. Ravikovich, M.S. Svetin, I.S. Mazurkevich, and V.I. Sukhorukov. T. S. Kazakova, Honoured Art Worker of Russia, has headed the theatre since 1995. The early Art Nouveu building was constructed in 1902-03 (architect G.V. Baranovsky) for the Eliseev Brothers Trade Partnership (see Eliseevsky Shop), and originally various non-repertory companies gave performances in its theatre hall until 1905, when it housed the Nevsky Farce Theatre. After October 1917 it became the Grotesque Theatre Cabaret, then the Maly Drama Theatre (1919), and the Theatre of Musical Comedy (1920-26). The hall seats 883 people.

Reference: Янковский М. О. Ленинградский театр комедии. Л., 1968.

A. A. Kirillov.

Akimov Nikolay Pavlovich
Antonova Olga Sergeevna
Arbuzov Alexsey Nikolaevich
Babochkin Boris Andreevich
Baranovsky Gavriil Vasilievich
Beniaminov Alexander Davidovich
Byron George
Chekhov Anton Pavlovich
Dostoevsky Fedor Mikhailovich
Durrenmatt Friedrich
Filippo Eduarde de
Filippov Sergey Nikolaevich
Fomenko Peter Naumovich
Garin (real name Gerasimov) Erast Pavlovich
Gogol Nikolay Vasilievich
Golikov Vadim Sergeevich
Gosheva Irina Prokofievna
Granovskaya Elena Mavrikievna
Karpova Vera Alexandrovna
Kazakova Tatyana Sergeevna
Kozintsev Grigory Mikhailovich
Labiche Eugene Marin
Lensky (born Vorobyev) Dmitry Timofeevich
Lope de Vega Carpio (Lope Felix de)
Lozinsky Mikhail Leonidovich
Mazurkevich Irina Stepanovna
Milinder Lev Maxovich
Nadezhdin Sergey Nikolaevich
Nikitenko Valery Efremovich
Ostrovsky Alexander Nikolaevich
Priestley John Boynton
Rashevskaya Natalia Sergeevna
Ravikovich Anatoly Yurievich
Remizova Alexandra Isaakovna
Schwarz Evgeny Lvovich
Shakespeare William
Shaw George Bernard
Sheridan Richard Brinsley
Shkvarkin Vasily Vasilievich
Smirnov Boris Alexandrovich
Sukharevskaya Lidia Pavlovna (Petrovna)
Sukhorukov Viktor Ivanovich
Sukhovo-Kobylin Alexander Vasilievich
Svetin Mikhail Semenovich
Tenin Boris Mikhailovich
Trofimov Nikolay Nikolaevich
Ulitin Boris Alexandrovich
Utesov Leonid Osipovich (real name Weisbein Lazar Iosifovich)
Yunger Elena Vladimirovna
Yutkevich Sergey Iosifovich
Zarubina Irina Petrovna

Nevsky prospect/Saint Petersburg, city, house 56

Янковский М. О. Ленинградский театр комедии. Л., 1968

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Maly Drama Theatre - Theatre of Europe
Musical Comedy Theatre
Eliseevsky Shop