Nikolai and the Others

Nikolai and the Others

A Play

  • Paperback
  • ISBN 9781468308532
  • 128  Pages
  • Adult


It’s 1948 and during a spring weekend in Westport, Connecticut, a close-knit group of Russian émigrés, including choreographer George Balanchine, composer Igor Stravinsky, conductor Serge Koussevitsky, painter/set designer Sergey Sudeikin, and composer Nikolai Nabokov, gather to eat, drink and talk.
In Nikolai and the Others Richard Nelson imagines the relationships between Balanchine and Stravinsky, their friends, lovers, wives and ex-wives, supporters, and dancers (including Maria Tallchief and Nicholas Magallanes), at the time of their historic collaboration on the ballet Orpheus. Later that year, Orpheus would be the spectacular inaugural production of the newly formed New York City Ballet. The play also explores the controversial ways American art and artistic institutions were funded at the outset of the Cold War—including the subtle hand of the State Department in the post-war cultural scene.


Nikolai sometimes summons both a sense of place and displacement with such naturalness that you forget that you’re watching titans at play.” –Ben Brantley, The New York Times
“An engrossing work that transports Chekhov to the threshold of the Cold War…marvelous.” –Jesse Green, New York Magazine
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