And of course, the Russian Version. Slightly better. Probably because I can’t understand the language. Maybe I’m just a curmudgeon, but I can’t see Zhivago as a musical. Sure, they made Victor Hugo’s depressing Les Miserable into one, but at least it has a happy ending. Zhivago is purely Russian. Everyone is miserable in the end. The New York Times reviewer seems to be in agreement.
I should warn the jumpy that those warnings about the sound of gunfire in the lobby and the program are meant in earnest. With a world war and a bloody national revolution to depict, “Doctor Zhivago” regularly rattles the rafters (and your nerves) with the sound of explosions and gunshots. The cynic in me wondered whether all this artillery was a dramatic choice, to inject notes of harsh realism as a corrective to all the swooning romanticism, or a practical one, to keep the audience from nodding off, and Broadway wags from dubbing the show “Doctor Zzzzhivago.” Oops. Too late. ~ From The New York Times