RASPUTIN / TSAROVICH
The Boy, whether as Rasputin or the Tsarovich, is at once innocent,
playful and visionary. He is emblematic of hope and authenticity.
He should be attractive and compelling but he should not seem "perfect
in every way." There should be something awkward or disjointed
about his mannerisms (both as the sickly Tsarovich and as the young
"seer"). He is much like the "Albatross"
in Baudelaire's poem of the same name, elegant master of another
world but at times ungainly in this one. He should seem about
twelve years old.
to his historical counterpart, this Felix is an intellectual, articulate
and flamboyant aristocrat. The wealthiest man in Russia, whose
hero was Oscar Wilde, he is the self-proclaimed assassin of Rasputin.
As an emcee, therefore, he should be comic, cynical and engaging.
He is invested, at once, in getting attention and "credit"
as he recreates his revenge upon Rasputin, and guarding his privileged
position as emcee and narrator, which would seem to indicate a more
neutral role. He should play about 30 years old.
mature Rasputin is earthy and engaging and at the same time crude,
an ambivalent figure. He must be convincing both as an idealistic
young man, and as tarnished, worn man entering middle age. He
has an impish, puckish quality throughout much of the show, but
when he is serious he speaks with naïve conviction. He
represents the force of raw humanity ú with all its vitality,
potential for strength and potential for weakness and temptation.
Rasputin's quiet and devoted wife in this show is much like her
historical counterpart. She is "patience personified"
but has an earthy sense of reality that makes this a strength rather
than a weakness. She, too, must age throughout the show.
Rasputinís good-hearted but naïve daughter joins him
in St. Petersburg, and champions him after his death throughout
her adult life. She should be able to play between 13 and
A simple, unremarkable man, the last Romanov emperor was far better
at tennis than at politics. And yet he must be played with
quiet dignity. He can be played as a man who ages from 30
The Tsarina was a high strung, emotional woman, who championed Rasputin.
Unfortunately, she did not often pay attention to his more common-sense
recommendations. She, too, must be played with dignity.
She should be a matronly 30ish.
(The following are taken from a core group, the CHORUS' individual
members of which can play several parts. They must include four
girls young enough to play the TSAR's daughters.)
In fact, a cast of characters in trench coats were dispatched by
the Okhrana (Secret Police), to watch Rasputinís comings
and goings at his modest apartment at 64 Gorovskaya. Many
of these became fond of their assignment, who played practical jokes
and games with his protectors. "
She is the siren of sexual allure in the show, although she does
not play the historically possible (if not fully validated) Irina
Danilova. She serves as a sexy adjunct to "Felix",
providing largely vacuous aphorisms with Marilyn Monroe seductiveness
ú as well as playing several rolesdirectly related to sexual
temptation. When she is with "Felix," as opposed
to in more historical roles, she should wear an outfit that resembles
a swimsuit. In her scenes with "Felix," she
should project the personality of a swimsuit model aspiring to be
an actress but without the talent to be an actress, nevertheless
capable of being very seductive in her failures. The
actress can also play one of the older of the TSAR's daughters,
and one of Irina's maids, as well as double up on chorus parts as
Villagers, Beggars, monks, St. Petersburg
townspeople, assassins, also:
Vladimir, Tikhon Portly members of the Russian government
seeking to interrogate Felix. They are largely comic figures
in this show.
The female aristocrat who first seduces Rasputin.
Matrionaís friend in St. Petersburg, who in fact persuaded
Matriona to play telephone games with unsuspecting young men, as
portrayed in the show.
TO CAST WITH A MINIMUM OF 13:
IRINA and the TSARINA are sung by the same performer
TSAR is played by one of the chorus members.
three of the TSAR's daughters are on stage at once -- the
eldest, OLGA, who is "serious and likes to study" can
also be "rarely around."
is played by a chorus member.
only four DETECTIVES instead of five
smaller cast will result in a different type of stage impression,
but given the flexible, non-literal staging and the playful, surreal
style of the production, a smaller cast has the potential to actually
add power to the core story. A larger cast will result in
more of a spectacle. If artfully done, a smaller cast
will underscore the storyís drama and humanity.
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