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The Boston Globe

Arts

Stage Review

Two worlds beckon in ‘Family Happiness’

NEW YORK — The pleasures and discontents of family life form the basis of perhaps the single best-known sentence Leo Tolstoy ever wrote. It’s from “Anna Karenina,’’ as translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky: “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.’’

In “Family Happiness,’’ a Tolstoy novella adapted for the stage and directed by Piotr Fomenko in a production premiered in Moscow in 2000, a young woman named Masha spends her time grasping at happiness of very different — and, alas for her, mutually exclusive — kinds.

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