I say all this with both awe and revulsion. There may in fact be value in distraction at this moment in our history, and rarely has distraction looked as lovely. The scenic designer Mimi Lien's nearly complete redesign of the aptly chosen Imperial Theatre begins as you enter its formerly pink-marble lobby, which is now a grubby underground bunker with fluorescent lights and post-Soviet punk-rock posters. By contrast the main auditorium has been reconfigured as a Czarist wonderland, with brass and candlelight and onstage seating and stairways and catwalks and acres of red velvet swathing everything in a cardiac glow. Continuing the thematic use of anachronism, Paloma Young's costumes combine Empire stylings and contemporary grunge to exquisite effect. The lighting by Bradley King is brilliant, colorful, alternating between tête-à-tête warmth and stadium-rock heroics. Even the expanded orchestrations, by Malloy, enhance the sensation of lushness and well-being; an oboe and a bass clarinet will do that. Russia under Alexander, even with Napoleon fast approaching, was a nice place to be rich.