Block by block, a new way of life is assembled
Old Moscow is left behind when a new high-rise housing development springs up, promising a motely crew of friends and acquaintances suffering from the city’s housing shortage a bright, new future. But all is not as it seems.
Torn between their desire for the latest appliances and their love of old Moscow, relationships are tested, and corruption is uncovered. Based on real life events of the post-Stalin era, this surprisingly light-hearted musical comedy, performed by the award winning WNO Youth Opera, brings you lively choruses, snappy songs and ensembles and a succession of easy-going waltzes and polkas infused with jazz influences, in a highly entertaining piece that will leave you questioning reality forever.
Performances dedicated to the memory of David and Philippa Seligman
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WNO Leading Supporter, ABP. Dedicated to the memory of David and Philippa Seligman. Supported by Gibbs Charitable Trust and Mr & Mrs John & Maggie Hayes.
Cast & Creative
Explosives expert Boris and his old friend Sergei, a chauffeur, bump into one another after years apart. Boris is moving back to Moscow and is looking for love, but things aren’t going too well. Sergei is having similar bad luck with Lucy, a construction worker with whom he is in love.
In a hall of the Museum of the History of the Reconstruction of Moscow tour guide Sasha tells a group of tourists about the past and future of Moscow. His wife Masha is also in the group. As the tourists head into the next hall Sasha and Masha remain. Although they are married, they still live apart and dream of a home together.
Boris and Sergei arrive at the museum. They meet the tour guide Lidochka and Boris attempts to flirt with her without much luck. After they leave Lidochka laments her woes, but her father Semyon arrives with news that the ceiling of the house where they live with Sasha has fallen through. The house will now be demolished leaving them homeless.
Boris receives papers informing him of the demolition and much to everyone’s relief and excitement Sergei finds housing orders amongst the papers. Sasha and his wife Masha are to receive a flat as are Lidochka and Semyon, in the newly built district of Cheryomushki. Boris suggests that they borrow the car that Sergei drives to take them all to their new apartments.
Drebyednyetsov and his young wife, Vava, have been arguing. They are waiting for their chauffeur who seems to have vanished. The chauffeur is in fact Sergei who is otherwise occupied.
Upon their arrival at Cheryomushki they find a large group of tenants waiting for their keys. Sergei attempts to confess his love to Lucy, who works at the construction site, but stumbles over the conversation and makes no ground.
When the site manager, Barabaskin, arrives he is unwilling to hand over the keys stopping anyone from getting into their new homes. He invites the tenants into his office.
Boris and Lidochka stay behind with Boris again flirting unsuccessfully. Vava arrives and Boris, having been her old childhood flame, teases her that she has such a small flat when she is married to the big boss. Vava insists that she will get a bigger flat.
Boris enlists Lucy’s help to get around the lack of keys and using a construction crane lifts Lidochka and her father into their new home. Whilst they are settling in Lucy arrives and tells them that she has been ordered to strip the flat of its fittings. After they leave Lucy is left alone to consider her feelings for Sergei, but Barabashkin bursts through the wall with Drebyednyetsov and Vava, exclaiming that they will be taking the flat and knocking through in order to enlarge their own flat. Lucy storms out in disgust. When Lidochka and Semyon return they are dismissed from the flat by Barabashkin and Drebyednyetsov.
Sasha and Masha have finally made it into their flat. The doorbell keeps on ringing with neighbours arriving and they end up holding an unexpected housewarming. Lucy and Sergei arrive and tell everyone of Drebyednyetsov and Barabashkin’s corruption. All agree that they must expose the crimes and secure everyone the homes they were promised.
Boris and Lidochka find themselves on top of the housing block and during a ballet dream about Lidochka receiving the key to her flat.
Back in reality Lidochka again bemoans her lot. Tenants and construction workers are planting a magic garden and they ask Lidochka to join them. Boris arrives and tells everyone that he has caused Drebyednysetov and Vava to fall out and that they will be getting divorced. Drebyednyetsov arrives and much to everyone’s surprise gives out the keys to the flats. He goes on to admit that he has been sacked.
Thanks to a magical garden bench Sergei can finally confess his love to Lucy and Boris and Lidochka also confirm their love. All live happily ever after.