Moscow Art Theatre

Nikolai Galkin/TASS

Fyodor Shechtel's art deco masterpiece, commissioned by Moscow Art Theatre (MAT) founders Konstantin Stanislavsky and Vladimir Nemirovich-Danchenko, was built in 1902.  The right-hand entrance, leading to the New Stage, is decorated with the Wave bas-relief by the famed sculptor Anna Golubkina. The MAT building is an important tourist landmark. In fact, the whole pedestrian area of Kamergersky Pereulok (Kamergersky Lane) is. The theatre has been led by Oleg Tabakov, once an iconic Soviet actor and now a no-less-successful theatre director, since 2000. The creative director constantly adds new talent to an already stellar MAT company, which has actors of all ages on its line-up. Tabakov also invites the most successful directors to help him update and rejuvenate the repertoire. Tabakov's choices are often criticized by the more conservative members of the public, but MAT premieres always sell out the house, and it costs as much to see one as it costs to see a western pop star in concert.