Arts, Dining & Entertainment

Friends of Ludlow Auditorium begins Robin Williams film series with ‘Moscow on the Hudson’

Saturday, Sept. 17 — LUDLOW — Friends of Ludlow Auditorium (FOLA) will begin its three-part series of films showcasing the comedic and dramatic talents of Robin Williams on Saturday, Sept. 17 at 6 p.m. with the screening of Williams’ comedic hit, “Moscow on the Hudson”.

The event will begin with film historian, Rick Winston, speaking on Williams’ background with specific reference to the three films in the series. Following this, refreshments will be offered.  The film will begin at 7 p.m.

Courtesy FOLA
Pictured above is Robin Williams in “Moscow on the Hud- son” as he works in a New York McDonalds as he tries to accustom himself to life in America.

Moscow on the Hudson is a 1984 American romantic comedy-drama film written and directed by Paul Mazursky which stars Robin Williams as a Soviet circus musician who defects while on a visit to the United States. It co-stars María Conchita Alonso (in her film debut), Elya Baskin as the circus clown, Savely Kramarov as one of two KGB apparatchiks, Alejandro Rey as the musician’s immigration attorney, and Cleavant Derricks as his first American host and friend.

Vladimir Ivanoff, a saxophonist with the Moscow circus, lives in a crowded apartment with his extended family. He stands in lines for hours to buy toilet paper and shoes. His circus troupe is sent to perform in New York City. His friend, Anatoly, who has talked of little else but defecting, can’t bring himself to go through with it; and Vladimir, who had opposed the scheme as reckless and foolhardy, suddenly decides to do it. He runs from his Soviet controllers and hides behind a perfume counter at Bloomingdale’s under the skirt of the clerk, Lucia Lombardo. When the New York City Police Department and the FBI arrive, Vladimir stands up to his controllers and defects with news cameras rolling.

Lionel Witherspoon, a security guard who protected Vladimir from his Russian handlers during the defection, takes him home to Harlem to live with Lionel’s mother, unemployed father, sister, and grandfather—a living arrangement noticeably similar to Vladimir’s family back in Moscow.

The ensuing steps trace Vladimir’s efforts to learn English, get employed, find romance, and learn to appreciate his life in his new country.

The other two Williams movies in the series are “Good Morning, Viet Nam” on Oct. 1 and “Awakenings” on Oct. 29.

Everyone is invited to attend the film as well as the preceding review of the movie and William’s role in the three films making up this series. The movie is free; donations are appreciated.  For information, (802) 228-7239 or

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