(Neil Genzlinger's article appeared in the New York Times, 3/13.)


Good News, Comrades! Stalin Has a Job for You


“Lenin’s Embalmers,” at Ensemble Studio Theater, will not teach you specifically how to embalm yourself so that admirers eight decades later will be able to pay their respects directly to your lifelike face. It will, however, teach you to beware the living, especially those in seats of power who issue orders that carry the whiff of crazy.


The play, a spunky dark comedy by Vern Thiessen drawn from real history, tells of how Lenin’s corpse came to be embalmed after his death in 1924. (The body remains on view in Moscow.) Stalin (Richmond Hoxie) orders it done, recognizing the nation-building value of creating a semi-saint, and a couple of scientists named Boris (Scott Sowers) and Vlad (Zach Grenier) are ordered to tackle the job.


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