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All of the performances are world-class, well-rounded, restrained, complex, and alive. It is realism at its finest. I do want to make special note of Igor Ivanov, who plays Professor Serebriakov, and Ksenia Rappoport, who plays Elena. In previous productions their relationship is played as black and white. He is the older man who somehow married the beautiful young wife; now she hates him and he is just a grumpy old curmudgeon. However, they exude beautiful tenderness and loving in the beginning of act two, and Serebriakov even shows warmth and understanding upon discovering her indiscretions at the end. It shows that in spite of their problems, there is something there that keeps them together.