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Passport Picks

CSKA vs. Panathinaikos of Athens in Euroleague Basketball Action

CSKA-Moscow will host Greek champions Panathinaikos in the Euroleague on January 5. Unbeaten in the competition so far, the home side is intent on overturning the bad luck of the past two years to clinch the European title, while Panathinaikos has a slightly more prosaic goal of revenge. Within a day of going down 73-85 to the Muscovites in Athens, the Greek outfit added veteran player and former NBA champion Tracy Murray to the roster, but it remains to be seen if he can make a big difference in Moscow against the likes of the point machines Marcus Brown and J.R. Holden, as well as swingman Antonio Granger. CSKA coach Dusan Ivkovic says that he wants to surpass the last two years’ Final Four appearances and win the title, but believes the Moscow venue for the last stages will only add to the pressure. The Panathinaikos game will go some way to showing if his players are up to the challenge.

CSKA-Moscow vs. Panathinaikos at CSKA Sports Complex, January 5 at 8:10pm. For tickets, call 250 7790 or visit the CSKA ticket booth at the arena.

Christmas in the Kremlin

Now in its ninth year, the Chamber Orchestra Kremlin’s concert series “Christmas in the Kremlin” has become an unmissable event on the capital’s cultural calendar. This year, conductor Misha Rachlevsky’s orchestra teams up with some of the finest soloists from Russia and abroad, including mezzo-soprano Maria Kuleshova, cellist Marina Archakova and German pianist Thomas Leander. Eight concerts between December 11th and January 21st will showcase music from Bach and Mendelssohn to 21st century compositions, including a piece by one of the orchestra’s own violinists, Anton Shelepov. And it’s hard to imagine a more atmospheric setting for the concerts — they all take place in the Kremlin, either in the Armory or the Patriarch’s Palace. Tickets are limited and sell out quickly, so book early.

Christmas in the Kremlin: December 18, 21, 24, 27 and January 11, 14, 17, 21. Tel. 755 7795. Tickets are 500 rubles, or 1700 rubles for four concerts and 3000 rubles for all eight.

Slava’s Snow Show
JANUARY 21 — 30

Audiences always gasp at the flurries of paper precipitation that begin Slava Polunin’s “Snow Show” — but it’s real feeling, not fake snow, that makes the experience truly memorable. It stars Asisyai, a clown in a yellow jumpsuit and fluffy red slippers who Polunin invented for a televised New Year’s variety show in 1981. Since then, Polunin has continued to refine Asisyai’s sensitive character in sketches that explore love, longing and loneliness. Polunin is renowned for his ability to transcend linguistic and cultural barriers to touch the essence of the human experience, while his magic makes plain items like overcoats and telephones objects of contemplation. This clown show has enough sophistication for any adult and, according to the organizers, too much for children under eight.

Slava Polunin’s “Snow Show” at the Vakhtangov Theater, 28 Stary Arbat. Every evening at 7pm, Jan. 21-30, except Jan. 27. Tickets cost from 750 to 5000 rubles and are available at

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