The devil, his acrobatic cat and other colorful cronies come to Stalin's Moscow to wreak hilarious surreal havoc on the lives of writers, critics and bureaucratniks who have lost touch with their feelings. Satan sends some to the madhouse, stages a devilish play within a play, and gives the lyrical Margarita a whirlwind witch's ride climaxing in a satanic masked ball as she searches for her lover, a writer known as "Master." The novel Master is writing appears simultaneously on stage. His work, politically suppressed, focuses on the moral dilemma of Pontius Pilate in biblical Jerusalem. The characters in his book and the characters on the streets of Moscow, cast similar lights and shadows around them even as they live in separate worlds.
Dear to the hearts of East Europeans and Russians, THE MASTER AND MARGARITA was a suppressed cult novel during Stalinist days, expressing forbidden truths with wild spirit, humanity and humor. "As one might expect, Jean-Claude van Itallie's stage adaptation of THE MASTER AND MARGARITA can keep an audience startled and amused for a couple of hours." —NY Times. "MASTER AND MARGARITA…captures all the wildness, wit, and sadness of Bulgakov's work…There isn't a dull moment." —TheaterWeek.