RADIO 477!

a jazz musical inspired by the 1929 show about Kharkiv, Ukraine

created by Serhiy Zhadan (text), Anthonoy Coleman (music) and Virlana Tkacz (direction)

with Yara Arts Group 


George Drance, Darien Fiorino, Silvana Gonzalez, Akiko Hiroshima, Susan Hwang, Maksym Lozynskyj, Jeremy Vance and Lesya Verba


Anthony Coleman (piano) Hannah Dunton (bass), Frank London (trumpet), Erica Mancini (accordionist), Satoshi Takeishi (drums, percussion), Francesca Ter-Berg (cello), Doug Wieselman (clarinet)


English translations: Virlana Tkacz, Wanda Phipps with Anthony Coleman

Movement: Shigeko Suga, costumes: Keiko Obremski

Projections: Darien Fiorino, stage manager: Yula Deglina

Design, & graphics: Waldemart Klyuzko


June 17, 2022

Bohemian National Hall 

321 East 73rd St New York City

program | photos 

Dedicated to all the artists who worked on “Hello, This Is Radio 477!” which opened at the Berezil Theatre in Kharkiv, Ukraine January 9, 1929.

HELLO, THIS IS RADIO 477! Berezil’s 1929 musical revue envisioned a Ukrainian popular culture in step with the latest trends in Europe and America. Radio 477, Kharkiv’s radio station, was one of the most powerful in the country, it represented new technology and the future. Long assumed to have been destroyed, Yuliy Meitus’s score for this show was recently discovered in the archives. Only fragments of the script exist, but the programs include a detailed list of scenes. Hello, This Is Radio 477! was structured like a typical German revue of the time, with a satirical look at city life in the first act, wild dances in the second, and a longer dramatic scene as the final act. We follow the show’s structure and are inspired by songs by Yuliy Meitus.

Yuliy Meitus. one of Ukraine’s greatest 20th century composers, was born in 1903 to a Jewish family in Korpyvnytsky, Ukraine. In 1919 he graduated from the local music school and moved to Kharkiv, where he studied composition with Semen Bogatyryov at the Kharkiv Institute of Music and Drama, graduating in 1931. From 1923 to 1924 he was the concertmaster for the Kharkiv Opera Society, headed the musical section of the Proletcult and organized the first jazz band. From 1927 to 1933 Meitus created the music for 15 productions at the Berezil Theatre in Kharkiv, many directed by the Ukrainian director Les Kurbas. It was believed that Meitus’s music for the Berezil shows was destroyed after Kurbas was arrested in 1933. Today, Yuliy Meitus is best known for his 14 operas, numerous orchestral works and about 300 songs set to poetry.                               Virlana Tkacz

The first workshop of Radio 477 was in Kharkiv in November 2021 and included performers: Olena Bazhenova, Kateryna Kharpova, Artem Kochergin, Armen Kaloyan, Yaroslav Podshyvalov, Alina Pribytkova, Pavlo Saveliev and Olya Zubkova musicians:  Serhiy Dikarev, Dima Faustov, Polina Faustova, Anatoli Komar, Vladislav Leonenko and Grygoriy Mishchenko. It was made possible by Tetiana Pylypiuk and the Slovo Building Residency at the Kharkiv Literary Museum, Yana Partola and the Kotlyarevsky National University of Arts in Kharkiv, Vira Lahutina and the Regional Centre of Culture and Arts of Kharkiv, Tanya Turko and the Theatre Museum at the Shevchenko Theatre and all the friends of Yara Arts Group.

video 1 "Jazz City & Dance" from "Radio 477!" performed by George Drance, Silvana Gonzalez, Akiko Hiroshima, Susan Hwang, Maksym Lozynskyj, Jeremy Vance and Lesya Verba.

video 2 "Fish's Song" from "Radio 477!" performed by Susan Hwang

Kurbas Virtual Events

Yara Arts Group from La MaMa Experimental Theatre and the Museum of Theatre, Music and Cinema of Ukraine present a series of virtual events about the series of museum exhibitions on Les Kurbas they mounted in Ukraine 2017-2018. Les Kurbas was an innovative Ukrainian theatre director who worked in Kyiv and Kharkiv in the 1920s and was a forerunner in the use of new media in theatre. The three part series will premiere in February 2022 and includes virtual events about “Kurbas in Kyiv” “Kurbas in Kharkiv” and “Kurbas: New Worlds.” The virtual events are in Ukrainian. They are free and can be viewed any time after their premiere through the links here.

Virtual event "Kurbas in Kyiv" (winter 2022)              program | video - virtual event

or more on the exhibition "Kurbas in Kyiv"


Virtual event "Kurbas in Kharkiv"                             brochure | video - virtual event

for more on the exhibition "Kurbas in Kharkiv"

Virtual event "Kurbas: New Worlds"   pages from "Installations" | video - virtual event

for more on the exhibition "Kurbas: New Worlds" 

The new series opens with "Kurbas in Kyiv." It introduces the three curators: Virlana Tkacz, Tetiana Rudenko and Waldemart Klyuzko and tells how they came together as a team to create the exposition “Kurbas in Kyiv” at the Museum of Theatre, Music and Cinema in Kyiv. This exhibition featured costumes, design models, photographs and films from Les Kurbas’s work in Kyiv at the Young Theatre (1917-1920) and the Berezil Artistic Association (1922-1926). Included in the exhibition were recordings by Yara actors reading scenes from Kurbas’s shows. Kurbas in Kyiv premieres February 10, 2022 and can be viewed any time after through the links above.

“Les Kurbas Events” virtual events are all free and can be viewed at any time through the links above. They are made possible with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, Self-Reliance (NY) FCU and friends of Yara Arts Group.