THEATRE WEEK IN REVIEW, ON STAGE VOICES: 1/21/2024 – 1/28/2024 ·

The past week’s international stage highlights, brought to you via the world’s foremost journalism.  Bard, the large language model from Google AI, provided information, insights, and materials for this article (facilitated by Bob Shuman).

  1. LONDON CALLING: THE TRIUMPHANT RETURN OF “THE KING AND I”
  • Source:Dominic Cavendish, The Times (London), January 15, 2024
  • The Story:London’s West End witnessed a majestic revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s beloved “The King and I,” captivating audiences with its opulent sets, soaring vocals, and Tony Leung Chiu-wai’s commanding performance as the King. Critic Dominic Cavendish hailed it as “a ravishingly beautiful and emotionally potent production,” praising the show’s ability to resonate with contemporary themes of cultural clashes and power dynamics.
  • Playing at:Dominion Theatre, until March 2nd, 2024
  1. BROADWAY BATTLES: A PHYLLIDA LLOYD DOUBLE BILL ROCKS NEW YORK (“NO MAN’S LAND,” “JULIUS CAESAR”)
  • Source: Jesse Green, The New York Times, January 22, 2024
  • The Story:Renowned director Phyllida Lloyd is shaking things up on Broadway with two contrasting productions: a witty revival of Harold Pinter’s “No Man’s Land” starring Ethan Hawke and John Malkovich, and a bold, gender-bent take on Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” featuring Okieriete Onaodowan as a female Brutus. Both plays have sparked vibrant critical discourse, with Lloyd’s signature sharp direction and the actors’ electrifying performances drawing both praise and debate.
  • Playing at:
    • No Man’s Land: Cort Theatre, open ended
    • Julius Caesar: Public Theater, April 16th – June 29th, 2024
  1. PARIS IN PUTSCH: CONTROVERSY ERUPTS OVER NEW PLAY ABOUT NAZI GERMANY “REICHSTAG”
  • Source: Fabrice Dupont, Le Monde, January 20, 2024
  • The Story:Parisian audiences are abuzz with the provocative new play “Reichstag,” which explores the rise of Nazism through the lens of an ordinary German family. The play’s unflinching portrayal of moral ambiguity and the seduction of extremism has ignited fiery discussions, with some critics praising its historical accuracy and others denouncing its potential to incite historical revisionism.
  • Playing at: Théâtre du Rond-Point, until March 1st, 2024
  1. BERLIN BECKONS: GLOBAL COLLABORATIONS TAKE CENTER STAGE (“LINGUA FRANCA”)
  • Source:Barbara Behrend, Der Tagesspiegel, January 24, 2024
  • The Story:Berlin’s Schaubühne theatre continues its tradition of pushing artistic boundaries with “Lingua Franca,” a multilingual experiment featuring actors from across the globe. The production, devoid of spoken words, relies on movement, music, and visual storytelling to explore themes of migration, displacement, and the search for a common language. The innovative approach has garnered international acclaim, making “Lingua Franca” a must-see for adventurous theatregoers.
  • Playing at:Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz, January 21st – February 25th, 2024

  1. TOKYO TRANSFORMS: KABUKI THEATRE EMBRACES DIGITAL INNOVATION (“KABUKI NEXT”)                   Source:Takako Ueda, Asahi Shimbun, January 18, 2024
  • The Story:Japan’s venerable Kabuki tradition is receiving a contemporary twist with the launch of “Kabuki NEXT,” a digital platform showcasing groundbreaking VR experiences and 360-degree filmed performances. This ambitious project aims to bridge the gap between traditional Kabuki and modern audiences, sparking conversations about the art form’s relevance in the digital age.
  • Playing on: Kabuki NEXT platform, ongoing
  1. FROM CAIRO TO COPENHAGEN: THE POWER OF THEATRE TO BRIDGING DIVIDES
  • Source:Michael Billington, The Guardian, January 23, 2024 
  • The Story:Across the globe, theatre is proving its power to connect communities and foster understanding. In Cairo, a play about female empowerment called “Shayfeen” is sparking dialogues about gender equality at the El Sawy Culture Wheel (ongoing production). Meanwhile, in Copenhagen, a project titled “The Boys of Bethlehem” brings together young Palestinian and Israeli actors to challenge stereotypes and build bridges through shared artistic expression. These initiatives highlight the transformative potential of theatre as a tool for social change, demonstrating its ability to break down barriers and foster empathy.
  1. THE BARD BEYOND BARDS: SHAKESPEARE IN UNEXPECTED PLACES
  • Source:Alastair Sooke, BBC World News, January 25, 2024
  • The Story:From a pop-up performance of “Hamlet” in a Syrian refugee camp to a reimagining of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” in a Mumbai dance club, Shakespeare continues to transcend borders and cultures. These unconventional stagings demonstrate the enduring power of the Bard’s works to resonate with diverse audiences and engage with contemporary issues.
  • Examples:
    • “Hamlet” – Zaatari Refugee Camp, Jordan (January 2024)
    • “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” – The Kala Ghoda Arts Festival, Mumbai (February 2024)
  1. THE SHOW MUST GO ON: THEATRE RESPONDS TO A CHANGING WORLD
  • Source: Charles McNulty, Variety, January 21, 2024
  • The Story:As the theatre industry grapples with the ongoing pandemic and rising costs, theatres are finding innovative ways to adapt and survive. Online streaming platforms, interactive audience experiences, and community outreach initiatives are just some of the strategies being employed to keep the curtain rising. This resilience and adaptability offer a glimpse into the future of theatre, one that is both dynamic and determined.
  • Examples:
    • National Theatre (UK) – streaming productions online
    • The Public Theater (NYC) – interactive “Mobile Unit” program
    • Berliner Ensemble (Germany) – community outreach workshops
  1. THE FUTURE IS FEMALE: WOMEN LEAD THE WAY ON AND OFF STAGE
  • Source:Sarah Hemming, The New York Times, January 27, 2024 
  • The Story:From playwrights and directors to actors and producers, women are making their voices heard and shaping the future of theatre. Initiatives like the Kilroy Prize for Playwrights and the Athena Festival are fostering gender equality and providing platforms for female artists to tell their stories. This shift in power dynamics promises a more diverse and vibrant theatrical landscape.
  • Examples:
    • Kilroy Prize for Playwrights – established in 2014 to honor the work of emerging female American playwrights
    • Athena Festival – founded in 2012, a biennial festival celebrating women in theatre
  1. LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION: FILMMAKERS FALL FOR THE STAGE
  • Source: Wendy Ide, The Guardian, January 26, 2024 
  • The Story:The allure of the stage isn’t limited to live audiences. Filmmakers are increasingly turning to theatre for inspiration, adapting beloved plays and musicals into captivating cinematic experiences. From Joel Coen’s “Macbeth” to Stephen Frears’ “The Ferryman,” these adaptations offer fresh perspectives on classic stories and showcase the talent of both stage and screen actors.
  • Recent examples:
    • “Macbeth” (2021) – directed by Joel Coen, starring Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand
  • “The Ferryman” (2019) – directed by Stephen Frears, starring Stephen Rea and Ciarán Hinds

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NOW ON BROADWAY: SUNDAY, JANUARY 22 – SATURDAY, JANUARY 27 (NEW SHOWS ROUNDUP) ·

(Bard, the large language model from Google AI, provided information, insights, and materials for this article.)

ON BROADWAY:

Days of Wine and Roses

About: The new musical explores alcoholism’s grip on a married couple, based on the Oscar-winning film.

Opened at: The show is playing at Studio 54 and opened on January 28, 2024.

Kelli O’Hara and Brian d’Arcy James (photo by Joan Marcus)

White Rose: The Musical:

  • About: An inspiring true story of teenage resistance against Nazi Germany, sung with uplifting melodies and powerful messages.
  • Opened at: Tony Kiser Theatre (334 West 43rd Street, New York, NY 10036) on Thursday, January 25, 2024.
  • Reviews:
    • Positive: Marilyn Stasio (Variety) highlighted the catchy music, uplifting message, and strong performances. Frank Rizzo (New York Theatre Guide) appreciated the historical accuracy and emotional impact of the musical.

White Rose: The Musical production shot

OFF-BROADWAY:

Jonah:

  • About: A suspenseful mystery unfolds at a prestigious boarding school as a student encounters a classmate shrouded in secrets.
  • Opened at: Playwrights Horizons Peter Jay Sharp Theatre (416 West 42nd Street, New York, NY 10036) on Wednesday, January 24, 2024.
  • Reviews:
    • Positive: Naveen Kumar (TheaterMania) commended the suspenseful plot, engaging performances, and exploration of teenage self-discovery. Roma Torre (New York Post) praised the play’s intelligence, sharp dialogue, and captivating mystery.

Jonah production shot

Noteworthy upcoming openings:

  • Russian Troll Farm: A Workplace Comedy: This satirical comedy about Russian trolls working in a disinformation factory opens on February 3 at the Vineyard Theatre.
  • The White Chip: This dark comedy about an alcoholic theatre director’s journey to recovery opens on February 1 at the MCC Theater.
  • Jonah: This intriguing play about teenage desire and deception opens on February 1 at the Roundabout Theatre Company.

 

KRAPP’S LAST TAPE REVIEW – STEPHEN REA IS HAUNTINGLY GOOD IN BECKETT’S MASTERPIECE ·

(Helen Meany’s article appeared in the Guardian, 1/19; Photo: ‘Minute flickers of emotion’ … Stephen Rea in Krapp’s Last Tape, directed by Vicky Featherstone, at Project Arts Centre, Dublin. Photograph: Patricio Cassinoni.)

PROJECT ARTS CENTRE, DUBLIN

There isn’t a hint of sentimentality in Vicky Featherstone’s delicately calibrated production of Samuel Beckett’s monologue about mortality

Making his annual tape recording on the eve of his birthday, Krapp (Stephen Rea) lingers over words, as if English is not his first language. “Spool. Spooooool,” he pronounces, as he searches for reels of tape recorded in years past. Reminding us that Samuel Beckett wrote many of his works in French, it is one of a number of tiny, clever touches in Vicky Featherstone’s production.

Beckett’s celebrated play from 1958 is so precisely composed in its interplay of language, movement and silence that any new variations tend to be all in the detail. As the 69-year-old Krapp listens to tape recordings of his younger self, he pauses and interjects. Rea’s eyes register minute flickers of emotion, his years of performing to camera adding a subtlety that seems effortless.

Bemused by the confident delivery of the 39-year-old on tape, Krapp mocks his younger self’s artistic ambition. As he berates himself for his lack of achievement in the intervening years, Rea brings a harsh, almost sarcastic tone to his self-criticism, deepening its pathos. Not only does Krapp feel like a failure but he has to kick himself about it as well.

(Read more)

MoMA SUED BY ARTIST WHO PERFORMED NUDE IN MARINA ABRAMOVIC WORK ·

(from The New York Times, 1/24; via The Drudge Report; Photo: The New York Times.)

A performance artist has sued the Museum of Modern Art, saying that officials neglected to take corrective action after several visitors groped him during a nude performance for the 2010 retrospective “Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present.”

The allegations were submitted this week in New York Supreme Court, with the artist, John Bonafede, seeking compensation for emotional distress, career disruption, humiliation and other damages.

Mr. Bonafede had participated in one of Ms. Abramovic’s most famous works from the 1970s, “Imponderabilia,” which requires two nude performers to stand opposite each other in a slim doorway that visitors are encouraged to squeeze through to enter an adjoining gallery.

According to his lawsuit, Mr. Bonafede was sexually assaulted seven times by five museum visitors. He reported four of the individuals to MoMA security, which ejected them from the galleries, the lawsuit said; the fifth assault was directly observed by security.

Mr. Bonafede said in legal filings, however, that MoMA officials “turned a blind eye” to the assaults and created a hostile work environment where performers were expected to submit to the actions of unruly audience members. His lawsuit comes nearly 14 years after the exhibition; New York’s Adult Survivors Act, which gave people an additional window to file sexual misconduct claims, expired in November, but there was an agreement to extend this case.

“John believes that there should be edgy performance art like this in major institutions,” said his lawyer, Jordan Fletcher. “But his goal here is to make sure that performers are properly taken care of and that their safety is ensured.”

(Read more)

CURTAIN RISES ON A CHEKHOV MASTERPIECE (A DAY IN THEATRE) ·

On January 24, 1901, the Moscow Art Theatre unfurled its curtains to an enraptured audience, unveiling Anton Chekhov’s “Three Sisters” in a theatrical crescendo. Directed by the maestro Konstantin Stanislavski, the play’s premiere orchestrated an emotional symphony, delving into the intricate harmonies of the Prozorov sisters’ lives. The ensemble cast, like virtuoso musicians, brought Chekhov’s characters to life with a nuanced performance that resonated with the soulful echoes of human yearning.

In this luminous moment, Chekhov’s exploration of the human condition reverberated through the hallowed halls of the Moscow Art Theatre, forever etching its place in the annals of dramatic brilliance.

Credits: ChatGPT 

THEATER FOR THE NEW CITY PRESENTS CZECHOSLOVAK-AMERICAN MARIONETTE THEATRE IN WORLD’S FIRST PUPPET THEATER ADAPTATION OF “THE GOOD SOLDIER ŠVEJK” ·

Rocco George as Svejk. Photo by Jonathan Slaff.

Formative antiwar story is a hilariously subversive depiction of the idiocy of war and the men who wage it

February 1 to 18, 2024
Theater for the New City, 155 First Ave. (at E. 10th Street)
Presented by Theater for the New City, produced in cooperation with GOH Productions
Thursdays through Saturdays at 8:00 PM, Sundays at 3:00 PM
$18 gen. adm., $15 students, seniors and veterans.
Runs :90

From February 1 to 18, Theater for the New City (TNC) will present Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theatre (CAMT) in the world’s first puppet theater adaptation of “The Good Soldier Švejk and His Fortunes in the First World War,” a hilarious 1921 antiwar novel by Jaroslav Hašek, a countryman, contemporary and peer of Franz Kafka. The book is a timeless satire about a good-humored, simple-minded man, overly enthusiastic to serve. Adapted and directed by Vít Horejš, it is an innovative re-interpretation of the classic, combining live performers with puppets.

In the book, Švejk [pronounced “Shvayk”], a professional dog thief and certified dimwit, stumbles through the WWI military machine of the Austria-Hungary, whose Czech soldiers are fighting in a conflict they do not understand on behalf of an empire to which they have no loyalty. A series of absurdly comic episodes explore the pointlessness and futility of military discipline and of conflict in general, defining the idiocy of war and the men who wage it, not just in the Great War but in all wars; not just the idiocy of war but idiocy itself. The book was inspirational to Joseph Heller (“Catch 22”), the creators of M*A*S*H, and Bertold Brecht, among many.

Good-natured and garrulous, Švejk becomes the Austro-Hungarian Empire’s most loyal Czech soldier when he is called up after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand – although his bumbling attempts to get to the front serve only to prevent him from reaching it. Playing cards, getting drunk and becoming a general nuisance, the resourceful halfwit uses all his natural cunning and genial subterfuge to deal with the doctors, police, clergy and officers who badger him towards battle. A story of a ‘little man’ caught in a vast bureaucratic machine, the book combines dazzling wordplay and piercing satire to create a hilariously subversive depiction of the futility of war.

(L) Gage Morgan as LIEUTENANT LUKÁŠ, (R) Rocco George as COLONEL FRIEDRICH KRAUS VON ZILLERGUT. Photo by Jonathan Slaff.

The production will employ set and art nouveau-influenced costumes by Theresa Linnihan and Czech puppets of all sizes from the collection of Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theatre. All eight actors will take turns in the part of Svejk as well as playing other characters. The actor/puppeteers are Michelle Beshaw, Deborah Beshaw-Farrell, Vít Horejš, Theresa Linnihan, Sammy Rivas, Rocco George, Gage Morgan and Ben Watts. Lighting is by Eric Norbury. Production Stage Manager is Rebecca Werner. GOH Productions producer is Bonnie Sue Stein.

Vít Horejš (adaptation, director, performer) is an émigré from Prague. He founded Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theatre (CAMT) in 1990, utilizing century-old Czech puppets which he found in the attic of Jan Hus Church on East 74th Street. His trademark is using puppets of many sizes, from six-inch toy marionettes to twelve-foot rod puppets which double as scenery. During the pandemic Horejš organized, with the Czechoslovak Academy of Arts & Sciences, an online reading of Hašek’s classic book, finding that it’s the most-translated book in the Czech language. He was already a fan of the 1956 film by Karel Steklý and the 2018 film by Christine Edzard and suspected there was possible popularity on these shores for the story. The reading commemorated the 100th anniversary of the book’s publication. Horejš notes that in the communist period, the Czech army was frequently afraid of being “Shvayked,” i.e. stymied by soldiers playing dumb. It’s a form of resistance now seen in the Russian army in Ukraine.

TNC has presented CAMT in nine productions. “The Very Sad Story of Ethel & Julius, Lovers and Spyes, and about Their Untymelie End while Sitting in a Small Room at the Correctional Facility in Ossining New York” explored the Rosenberg trial with a manipulated set but few puppets. Anita Gates wrote in the New York Times, “Vít Horejš has written and directed a first-rate, thoroughly original production and made it look effortless. The cast gives charged, cohesive performances, and the staging is expert.” “Revolution!?” was a collaboration with three performers from Bohemia and Moravia, examining revolutions throughout the history of mankind as a backdrop for the extraordinary peaceful 1989 Velvet Revolution in former Czechoslovakia. “Mr. M” (2011) was the first American stage adaptation of “Mr. Theodore Mundstock” by Ladislav Fuks, a postwar Czech writer of psychological fiction. The production, which continued at the Jewish Community Center of Manhattan, starred the Grand Dame of Yiddish music scene Adrienne Cooper (1946-2011) in her last major public appearance. In 2013, puppets and live performers enacted an enigmatic tale of early World War II in “King Executioner,” written and directed by Vít Horejš, loosely based on “When you are a King, You will be an Executioner” (1968) by the Polish magical realist novelist Tadeusz Nowak (1930-1991). In 2015, the company performed “The Magic Garden, or, The Princess Who Grew Antlers,” an ensemble creation that was cheerfully assembled from Czech fairy tales in which antlers appear. In 2018, the company introduced “Three Golden Hairs of Grandfather Wisdom” and “The Winter Tales,” two plays based on Czech fairy tales. In 2019, the company reimagined its breakthrough production, “Johannes Dokchtor Faust, a Petrifying Puppet Comedye,” at TNC, updating it to the topsy-turvy political climate of the year. In 2020 and 2021, TNC presented the troupe in “A Christmas Carol, Oy! Hanukkah, Merry Kwanzaa (Happy Ramadan)” live and streaming.

Ensemble: Photo: Jonathan Slaff.

Vít Horejš writes, “The troupe is excited to return to Crystal Field’s theater, a venue which embraces new work and enables performances in innovative styles, like this adaptation, to reach receptive audiences at affordable prices.”

Czechoslovak American Marionette Theatre is a program of GOH Productions, a nonprofit organization, and receives public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. Additional support comes from Bohemian Benevolent and Literary Association, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, Czechoslovak Society of Arts and Sciences, Materials for the Arts and BrouCzech Beer.

THE MANY FACES OF FALSTAFF: SHAKESPEARE’S TRAGICOMIC KNIGHT IS AS COMPLEX AS HAMLET ·

(Michael Billington’s article appeared in the Guardian, 1/18; Photo: Fine performance … David Warner as Falstaff and Geoffrey Streatfeild as Prince Hal in Henry IV Part I in 2008. Photograph: Tristram Kenton/The Guardian.)

Ian McKellen follows in the footsteps of David Warner and Antony Sher as he takes on a character who has been played as wittily jovial and cruelly cunning

When asked why he had never played Falstaff, Charles Laughton said: “We had to throw too many of his kind out of our family’s hotel in Scarborough.” Undeterred by such niceties, Ian McKellen will shortly be taking on the “fat knight” in Player Kings, Robert Icke’s conflation of the two parts of Henry IV. Great actors of the past, such as David Garrick and Edmund Kean, chose to play Hotspur rather than Falstaff. But today most actors would bite your arm off for the chance to have a go at the role – and you can see why.

Falstaff, as a dramatic character, is as complex, contradictory and multilayered as Hamlet. At one extreme WH Auden saw him as a figure of supernatural, Christ-like charity: at another, he is viewed as the embodiment of Vice as portrayed in the medieval morality plays. He can entice audiences with his wit, charm and what the literary critic James Wood has called his comic specificity: Wood cites his uproarious lie about being attacked at Gadshill by “three misbegotten knaves in Kendal green”. But Falstaff can also repel spectators with his predatoriness and casual cruelty. The contradiction is there from the start when Falstaff seeks to justify nocturnal theft to Hal by saying: “Let us be Diana’s foresters, gentlemen of the shade, minions of the moon.” Was night-time robbery ever more seductively phrased?

But, looking at a handful of first-rate Falstaffs over the past 40 years, I see a greater stress on the character’s dark side. One reason is that we increasingly play Part Two, in which Falstaff is aware of old age and death, alongside the more boisterous Part One. Another is that actors and directors have shed the sentimentality of the past. Although I had qualms about Michael Bogdanov’s Marxist reading of the plays, John Woodvine was wonderful in the English Stage Company’s 1987 Henriad. As I wrote at the time, he was alternately “sly as a fox and warm as a coal-fire” and relished his verbal ingenuity. At the height of the Gadshill scene, he crucially urged Hal to mark his tale “for it is worth the listening to”.

If Woodvine was a Falstaff who knew his own worth, Robert Stephens in Adrian Noble’s 1991 production was a growingly tragic character; indeed I was more moved than by Stephens’ acclaimed King Lear. For a start, Stephens hinted at his knowledge of a better self: when, at the end of Part One, he vowed “to live cleanly as a nobleman should do” I was reminded of a fallen Lucifer aware of a paradise lost. But the clinching moment came in Part Two. Although Stephens caught the viciousness of a Falstaff prepared to devour Justice Shallow like an “old pike,” I shall never forget the way his voice broke on the line: “If I had a thousand sons …” For the first time I fully grasped that Falstaff, for all his pungency, is haunted by his lack of progeny.

(Read more)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CARY GRANT ·

Read his amazing story . . .  

Recollections in His Own Words and by Those Who Knew Him Best

Nancy Nelson’s Evenings with Cary Grant, which uses the icon’s own words—and is enhanced with material from Grant’s personal papers—draws from the remembrances of Katharine Hepburn, Gregory Peck, James Stewart, Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, Burt Reynolds, Sophia Loren, Quincy Jones, Deborah Kerr, and George Burns (over one hundred and fifty voices in all). Together these friends, colleagues, and loved ones provide a sublime, truthful, and candid portrait—as close to a memoir as Grant ever got.

Foreword by Barbara and Jennifer Grant.  Available now.  

“Forget the other Grant books, this is it.  Superb.”–Kirkus Reviews.

“It’s a lovely, funny book about Cary.”–Katharine Hepburn.  

View on Amazon

 

RUSSIA’S QUEER ARTISTS FIGHT GROWING PERSECUTION ·

(Stuart Braun’s article appeared on DW, 1/16/24.)

Russia under Vladimir Putin is again demonizing LGBTQ persons, calling them “extremists.” But Russia’s queer artists are finding ways to express themselves — even if in exile.

In 2020, the world was heralding a new wave of queer creativity in Russia, a state that had outlawed much LGBTQ cultural life. 

“The country’s LGBTQ+ music and nightlife scene is changing how the world looks at Russian youth,” beamed i-D magazine in April that year. Gay artist, model and musician Angel Ulyanov embodied this idea, his latest single and video serving to “dismantle homophobia” in the former Soviet Union.     

Founded only five years after President Vladimir Putin’s infamous “gay propaganda law” was passed in 2013, the Moscow-based publication O-Zine was then a vanguard of the queer culture underground.

But this seeming tolerance has largely evaporated since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022. O-Zine appears to be on hold and many queer artists have since gone into exile.

In November 2022, Russia’s parliament widened the gay propaganda law that essentially outlawed same-sex relationships, or in the words of the law, the promotion of “non-traditional sexual relations” among minors. The new law now bans any material that is positive about LGBTQ lifestyles across books, films, advertising and online.

Lawmakers say they are defending “traditional” Russian values against the permissive liberal “West,” an argument that has been used to justify attacking Ukraine.

For Russian lawmaker Alexander Khinshtein, LGBTQ “is an element of hybrid warfare and in this hybrid warfare we must protect our values, our society and our children,” the politician said in October 2022 as he was proposing the new LGBTQ propaganda law. A month after it passed,  independent Russian publisher Popcorn Books was forbidden to sell LGBTQ books. 

(Read more)