In Kharms Way


Apr 29 2016 - 7:30pm
Daniil Kharms

In Kharms Way explores the outrageous, absurdly comical, occasionally obscene, and ultimately sublime world of Russia’s iconic master of the absurd, Daniil Kharms (1905-42).

Featuring The Madison String Quartet and actors Neil Redfield and Cristina Ramos. With original music by Ray Luedeke on texts by Russian writer Daniil Kharms, as directed by Courtney Laine Self, In Kharms Way will be performed at 7:30pm April 29 at the Tenri Cultural Institute of New York.

A Russian vodka (or Eastern European wine) reception will begin at 7:30 pm on Friday, April 29, with the live musical / theatrical performance beginning at 8pm, all taking place at the Tenri Cultural Institute of New York (43A West 13th Street). Tickets are $20 in advance online at, $25 at the door.

For those unable to attend the Friday, April 29 performance, consider attending the dress rehearsal for In Kharms Way, Thursday, April 28 at 12 noon at the National Opera Center, Charles MacKay Studio, 330 Seventh Ave. NY. Vodka tasting at 11:30 am.

Composer Ray Luedeke has crafted 19 of Daniil Kharms original vignettes into a five act play for 2 actors and set the play to music for string quartet. The on-stage string quartet becomes a virtual "third actor", at times even participating with text. Both actors claim to be an incarnation of the avant-garde, futurist writer of non-linear plays, anti-rational verse, and parables for adult-children, Daniil Kharms. (Kharms, himself - who dressed like an English dandy, smoked a calabash pipe, and often behaved illogically in public, was eventually arrested by Stalin and died of starvation in a Soviet prison.)

Virtually unknown, except as a writer of children's literature, until 1970 and "glasnost" in the Soviet Union, Kharms' reputation has since grown exponentially, as his adult works have become available. In present day Russia, Kharms is a cultural hero. Mikhail Baryshnikov and Willem Dafoe have had world wide success with their version of Kharms' The Old Woman, as directed by Robert Wilson.