The Theater: Methodical Orchard

"Here was the real thing," trumpeted the Daily Telegraph. "Great -and no perhaps about it," cried the News Chronicle. Despite preshow misgivings that Anton Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard might be axed by Lenin rather than Lopakhin, London's critics cheered last week for the famed Moscow Art Theater, in its first appearance this side of the Iron Curtain since before World War II.

Helped by a superb set of costumes and stage furnishings (including their own axes and logs, since "English ones might not have the right ring"), 15 well-disciplined M.A.T. pros, descendants of the group that "Method" Director Konstantin Stanislavsky helped to...

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