Friday, December 13, 2013


D.C. is a big theater town, but due to the cost of tickets (typically $45 or $55 and up at the better theaters), I rarely take advantage of this. Yet, when a friend let me know about Mikhail Baryshnikov performing in a play based on Anton Chekov stores, I barely hesitated in buying a ticket (although I choose one in the $45 section, not in the $85 section!). Baryshnikov is, of course, best known as a ballet dancer, but nowadays spends his time producing and performing theater, and has also popped up on television, including as Sarah Jessica Parker's love interest in the series "Sex and the City."

Latvians have a special affinity for him not only because he wisely chose to defect from the Soviet Union in 1974, but also because he was born in Riga. It was not surprising that other than the three Latvian friends with whom I attended, I was seated one row over from another Latvian-American woman.

The play was very modern and interesting, and much of the acting superb. I cannot claim I fully followed and understood all of it. The first story was funnier and more entertaining than the second, which was short and quite sad. Baryshnikov himself danced only a bit, but even from that one could tell what an excellent dancer he is.

Afterwards one of my friends asked, and we were able to meet him for several minutes. He still speaks a tiny bit of Latvian, but seemed to assume that we were all from Latvia (which was true of only one person in our group) and that we all spoke Russian - which luckily two individuals did.  Either way, he was a nice and unassuming person - he spoke fondly of growing up near the Laima chocolate factory in Riga. I'm glad I had the opportunity to see Baryshnikov perform and to meet him in person. I only wish I'd had the chance to see him dance in his younger days!

With Mikhail Baryshnikov after the play "Man in a Case" at DC's Shakespeare Theater


  1. Very cool! He's a shorty, although that shouldn't surprise me....

  2. Of course, I'm not really of average height, and I had shoes that add at least 2 inches that evening. :-) But - yes - he is generally quite petite.


I love having visitors, so let me know you stopped by!