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35th Festival Season - 2013
Music & Lyrics by Cole Porter
Book by George S. Kaufman, Leueen MacGrath and Abe Burrows
ACT I: Renowned Russian composer Peter Boroff is granted permission to go to Paris for one concert, but has stayed for three weeks. Three Soviet agents - Bibinski, Brankov, and Ivanov - have arrived with orders from the Commissar of Art to bring him home. Boroff’s American agent, Steve Canfield, has big plans for his client. American actress Janice Dayton is coming to Paris to make an independent film, and Steve wants to incorporate Boroff’s Ode to a Tractor. Over the objections of the three agents and with a promised payment of $50,000, Boroff agrees to remain in Paris, as do the three agents, who are convinced by Steve that they will become national heroes in Russia if they help supervise the film project. Back in Russia, the Commissar of Art is ordered to send an envoy, Comrade Yaschenko, to Paris to track down Boroff and the three agents. All in the office are taken aback when Yaschenko enters ... standing before them is Nina “Ninotchka” Yaschenko. At a Paris hotel, Steve is introduced to Ninotchka, whose icy demeanor and steadfast promulgation of Soviet ideals only strengthen Steve’s resolve to introduce her to the pleasures of Paris. The less than worldly Janice Dayton arrives and announces that she is there to make her first non-swimming picture, an adaptation of War and Peace. The only way to sell a film these days, she announces, is to equip it with “Technicolor, Cinemascope, and Stereoscopic Sound.” After spending the day touring Paris with Steve, Ninotchka, clearly not oblivious to his charm, explains to him that sex is just a “chemical reaction,” but he slowly wins her over to his point of view. Janice, meanwhile, has decided to make a musical film instead - she makes a play for Boroff in a boutique and sweet-talks him into letting her use his ode as a song in her film. Steve leaves Ninotchka after a romantic night on the town. She falls asleep, but has menacing dreams of her future “day in court” back home, when she is found “guilty.” She accepts her guilt, but blames Paris and, especially, a little restaurant on the left bank where she fell in love.
ACT II: At a bookstall dealer on the Left Bank, Ivanov reveals to Brankov and Bibinski that Steve has apparently inquired at the American embassy about the rules for marrying a foreigner. They assume that it is Ninotchka, who would most certainly then remain in Paris, leaving the three of them the opportunity to bring Boroff back to Russia and get all the glory. Ninotchka has come to a French studio to watch them film the scene featuring Boroff’s music. Steve has followed her there and, when she hints at the possibility of returning to Russia, he proposes and she accepts. Boroff, meanwhile, after watching the scene being filmed, is irate that his music has been severely altered and adapted for an American musical. Steve minimizes the significance of the change; Ninotchka cannot understand his insensitivity to the insult that has been hurled at her home country. He walks out on her, as she announces to the three agents that they will all be returning to Russia that evening. Back at his hotel, Steve receives a shipment of 365 pairs of silk stockings that he had intended as a gift for Ninotchka - a little too late now, he laments. Back in Russia, Ninotchka has been demoted to managing an apartment building - one that she has set up for artists seeking freedom of expression. But life just isn’t the same for her since she left Paris. Ivanov, Brankov, and Bibinski have been given positions operating a garbage wagon. Boroff, meanwhile, has decided that the transformed pop version of Ode to a Tractor is not so bad after all. They all join in on his latest composition ... “The Red Blues.” Steve appears, embraces Ninotchka, but is stopped in his tracks by the arriving Commissar of Art, who accuses them of conspiracy to undermine the government. Some quick thinking by Steve and Ninotchka convinces the Commissar that his job is in jeopardy and that the best thing he can do is to supply an airplane to transport all of them to the West.
Kimberly V. Powers
Erich R. Keil
Peter Ilyitch Boroff
Hotel Doorman (Alexis)
Jarrett Smith, Alexander Brickel
Stephen Faulk, Ezra Bershatsky, Luke Hefner, Mark Snyder, Jesus Murillo
Waiter (Pierre Bouchard)
President of Politburo
|Ensemble: Tara Austin, Ezra Bershatsky, Alexander Brickel, Alexia Butler, Janie Crick, Stephen Faulk, Nadia Fayad, Luke Hefner, Lawren Hill, Elise Kennedy, Lara Korneychuk, Benjamin Krumreig, Michael Lucas, Spiro Matsos, Olivia Maughan, Jesus Murillo, Garrett Obrycki, Tanya Roberts, Jarrett Smith, Mark Snyder, Tara Sperry, Clark Sturdevant|