Broadway Actor Brings Tolstoy To Life In Singapore
28 April 2011 – For the first time in Singapore, renowned Broadway actor Bruce Kuhn will bring literary giant Leo Tolstoy to life in a one-man show, Tales of Tolstoy, at The Arts House! Singaporeans will now be able to experience Tolstoy and his works through Kuhn’s witty and engaging impersonation this May.
Presented by DMR Productions and supported by The Arts House, the performance will run from 3 - 6 May, featuring Tolstoy’s two short stories God Sees the Truth, but Waits and What Men Live By, which Irish writer James Joyce has called “the best short story ever written.” Kuhn – with an unfailing Russian accent – will weave together tales of Russian life with personal musings on God and the world all in the character of Tolstoy.
After writing War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy had what he called a “spiritual awakening” that radicalised his life. He became the grandfather of Nonviolent Resistance by trying to live the teachings of Christ without compromise. Gandhi and Martin Luther King were profoundly influenced by his ideas. His brilliant short stories are witty and profoundly simple portraits of grouchy saints and ordinary sinners, struggling to live good lives in a fallen world.
The first short story God Sees the Truth, but Waits in Tales of Tolstoy centres on the life of a merchant called Ivan Dmitri Aksionov from the town of Vladmir, who sets out on a journey and along the way finds himself accused and imprisoned in Siberia for a murder. After 26 years of imprisonment, Ivan befriends a new inmate named Makar and later saves his life, only to have a grateful Makar confess that he committed the murder that Ivan had been
wrongly imprisoned for. What will Ivan do in response to the truth?
The second short story, What Men Live By, follows the life of Simon, a shoemaker and his family who live a poor life in Russia. Being a Christian, Simon rescues a man he sees naked on the steps of a church. The naked man is actually the angel Michael who is being punished by God and who can only return to heaven when he has found the answer to three questions: What dwells in man? What is not given to man?, and What do men live by?
Bruce Kuhn appeared in Les Miserables on Broadway until he joined the national tour of Chess and Cotton Patch Gospel. Three seasons at Actor’s Theatre of Louisville saw him in roles as diverse as D’Artagnan in The Three Musketeers, and Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. He now tours his solo performances of The Gospel of Luke, Tales of Tolstoy, and Cotton Patch Gospel to audiences in the US and Europe. He received his classical training and Master of Fine Arts at the University of Washington in Seattle under Dr. Robert Hobbs, and later trained with Uta Hagen in New York City.
Modern audiences must seize this chance to experience Kuhn’s sensitive and lively performance which accentuates Tolstoy's wry humor and insight into human nature, and showcases the breadth and sparkle of these spiritually uplifting, inspiring tales. Tales of Tolstoy will run from 3rd to 6th May 2011, 8pm at The Arts House (Play Den) with a ticket price of $30 and a concessionary price of $23 for students, NSFs and senior citizens. NUSS and Arts House members enjoy 10% off ticket purchases. Tickets may be purchased online via www.bytes.sg or by calling The Arts House Box Office at 6332 6919.
For more information and updates, please visit www.theartshouse.com.sg or contact The Arts House Box Office at +65 6332 6919.
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The Arts House at the Old Parliament
Occupying the almost 200 year old building that was Singapore’s first Parliament House, The Arts House since its opening in 2004 has been offering its visitors a broad spectrum of activities ranging from contemporary arts and entertainment events to lifestyle options, at the same time playing an active role in the Singapore arts and creative scene. From 2011, The Arts House will focus on the development of Literary Arts in Singapore while supporting and presenting programmes and events that aim to give a wider and multi-disciplinary experience with the theme of “Writing our Worlds” for this year. For more information, please visit www.theartshouse.com.sg.
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