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THEATER | 'Rouslana & Jelena' 

The press release had me at "The tale of tsar-crossed lovers." This week local theater collective DVC (Dream/Visualize/Create) will present "Rouslana & Jelena: A Modern-Day Russian Revolution," which uproots William Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" from 14th century Verona and plants the story in contemporary Moscow. And the title characters are women, so their love isn't just thwarted by their families' beef, they must also contend with an extremely intolerant culture. Same-sex marriage is not legal in Russia, and a 2015 Pew study found that 86 percent of Russians said homosexuality should not be accepted by society (that's up from 60 percent in 2002, and 74 percent in 2013). But before Americans feel too smug, we should remember that only one decade ago New York State voted no to legalizing gay marriage, and LGBTQ+ folks are still subject to discrimination and hate-based violence. Let's hope a happier ending was envisioned for Rouslana & Jelena than The Bard's ill-fated pair.

Thursday, December 5, through Friday, December 6, at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, December 7, 2 & 7:30 p.m. MuCCC, 142 Atlantic Avenue. $9 general admission in advance, $12 at the door, $5 for students. muccc.org; dvctheatre.com.

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