Buff Theater is a real cocktail of variety acts, pantomimes, comedies, parody shows, children's fairy tales, and many others
If, on exit of the underground station, you see an old-fashioned lady in a spectacular dress, walking arm in arm with a cavalier, getting on a carriage, do not be afraid! This means that the Buff Theatre has moved from Narodnaya Street to Zanevsky Prospect, to the place of the former Okhta cinema. Who will, really, remember the former Okhta, seeing a prodigious building of the Buff, sparkling with lights, enticing? It is for the first time in the last 40 years, after TUZ (Young Spectators Theatre), that such fundamental theatre building was opened in the city and, what is important, specially built for the Buff. The theatre loves its spectators, therefore we hope that after moving we shall not only gain a new spectator, but will not lose our old audience.
The art director and founder of the present Buff Theatre is I.R. Shtockbant - People's Artist of Russia, Professor of St. Petersburg State Academy of Theatrical Art.
«In 1983 a stream of variety-show artists graduated from Leningrad State Institute of Theatre, Music and Cinematography, trained by me, - says Isaac Shtockbant. - These were talented young people. After getting a diploma they did not run apart, but organized their theatre. As dictated by the genre, we wanted to name it just a cabaret theatre. But the head management treated me like a madman: there can not be any cabaret in the Soviet state! And then I thought about the word "Buff". So we decided upon "Buff". This had some association with Mayakovsky, his «Mystery-Buff». However, now I am glad that we were not given a permission to call ourselves a cabaret theatre at that time. What we are doing today does not fit at all within the narrow framework of cabaret art».
Now the troupe of the theatre are graduates of different years of the Theatre Academy - Department of variety-show and music theatre, among them Honoured artists of Russia E. Alexandrov, M. Sultaniyazov, M. Tryasorukov, A. Solovyov, N. Bobrovnichaya, S. Magilenich, M. Smirnov, E. Zubovich, V. Smilyanets, N. Kozorovitskaya, O. Pikalo, laureates of Russian competitions variety-show artists S. Vilgelm, V. Suta, A. Kulaeva, M. Bondaruk, I. Syabitov, A. Stekolnikov, and others. Many artists who were trained in the Buff School work successfully today at the country-popular stage: Elena Vorobey, Gennady Vetrov, Yury Galtsev, Mikhail Smirnov, Elena Spiridonova, prominent radio presenter Vadim Karev.
Buff is a unique theatre in its essence - where else will you find a theatre in our country where at the main stage they play classics, while entertaining the spectators by music programmes at the other stage, in one evening? And at the Buffics Theatre (this is how we call the Third stage) we show operas and fairy performances for children. We are planning, in addition to scheduled repertoire performances, to hold music soirées, to organize exhibitions of modern artists and festivals in the new building. We invite all our friends from far and nearby countries to come to us and bring their performances. It would be interesting to see our genre colleagues from different countries and cities. Currently the Buff has many large-scale interesting plans that will enable us to extend the circle of our communication and make our joint soirées more impressive and unique.