In the late 1980s, as Perestroika was sending shock waves around the world, I traveled to Leningrad to take part
in the first International Theatre Festival ever held in the Soviet Union, soon to be Russia. It was an intense affair in an electrifying atmosphere
of an awakening creativity that had been dormant for generations.
The city was beautiful, like Rome without the buzz. A deadening bureaucracy had cast a pall over the city. Boredom was a way of life, be it in
the café, hotel, bakery, or restaurant. Free enterprise was just beginning to show itself and a visit to a privately owned café provided a most welcome