The remainder of the acts were all equally high-energy and bizarre, from what can only be described as a Thai-infused Jewish wedding scene to an all-out Western, with male dancers slashing bedazzled whips at one another. At one point, they put a girl in a box and start impaling it with wooden stakes. The whole thing was equal parts magic show, cabaret, and complete hallucination. People in seats farther back gathered in the aisles to get a better view of the can-can segment, the belly dancers, the pyrotechnics. You can try to make sense of the progression of acts, but there doesn’t seem to be reason in any of it. At one point it started snowing on the stage because, really, why not?
And then, like the flip of a switch, it was over. Everyone in the room sat with mouths agape, scrambling to applaud as the waiters continued clearing plates and bringing out new ones, as if we hadn’t already consumed two full meals worth of food.
Some patrons took to the dance floor while others continued eating, and I took this lull in the night’s events to look around. We weren’t as out of place as I had expected us to be, and while I heard snippets of Russian conversation jumping around, there didn’t seem to be a shortage of English either.
“Many native-born Americans and tourists from other states come to these restaurants,” Kagan confirmed. When I moved to New York I came hungry for something new, something I couldn’t find anywhere else. This is a mentality shared by most who come here, and Tatiana, with what Kagan describes as “superb food, beautiful music, a great show, and an opportunity to become familiar with Russian culture and cuisine,” certainly fulfills that desire.