The author of the bust is Philip Trushin. It was he who created another important monument of Vakhtangov – a sculptural group of three artists: Vasily Lanovoy, Vladimir Etush and Yuri Yakovlev, which is located in the courtyard of the Simonovskaya stage.
Now the memory of another legendary artist has been immortalized here. And, of course, not by chance. Vyacheslav Shalevich devoted his entire creative life (and this is almost 60 years!) To the Vakhtangov Theater, but, most importantly, for 15 years he headed the Moscow Drama Theater. Ruben Simonov. Now this is the Simonovskaya stage.
– For me, Vyacheslav Shalevich has always been not only a wonderful artist, not only a friend with whom we share the same wardrobe, but also a teacher, – says actor Mikhail Vaskov. -From my first days in the Vakhtangov Theater, I seemed to have covered myself with his wing, and I lived under this wing until he left. It seems to me that the entire female part of our troupe was in love with him, but not only – also actresses from other theaters! He loved life very much, he played it beautifully … You know, Yuri Lyubimov at the Taganka Theater had such a concept as “brick”. Here Vyacheslav Shalevich was a “brick” of our theater.
Vyacheslav Shalevich appeared on stage in bright and extraordinary roles: the Angloman Barin (“Idiot”) and the Doctor (“Before Sunset”), Stefan (“The Holiday Game”) and Alexandrov (“The Living Corpse”), Barakh ( “Princess Turandot”) and Kozin (“Chivalry”), Casanova (“The Three Ages of Casanova”) and Murov (“Guilty without guilt”) … And films with their participation have long become a treasure from Russian cinema: “The Captain’s Daughter”, “Hockey Players”, “Three Poplars in Plyushchikha”, “Saved Generation”, “Uncertainty Barrier”, “6th of July”, “Tavern 13 Chairs”, “Brezhnev” , “Seventeen moments of Spring”, “Red Square” and many others.
By the way, it was in the role of Lieutenant Nikolai Kutasov in the film “Red Square” that Marina Esipenko first saw the artist. People’s Artist recalls:
– I was then six or seven years old, but I saw this film and fell in love. In the voice of Vyacheslav Anatolyevich, in the nobility of him, in some kind of masculine incomprehensibility. He signed my diploma after I graduated from the Shchukin School, and then at the Vakhtangov Theater he also kindly protected me. But I never thought that he would ever be able to stand me with the object of my adoration on the same stage…
The bust canvas was torn off to applause by the relatives of the People’s Artist – the widow Tatiana, children and grandchildren. And immediately the monument was flooded with fresh flowers.
By the way, on the same day, the premiere took place on the Simonovskaya stage – the play “The Freeloader” by Anna Gorushkina. And here, too, there is an interesting connection: it was a fragment of this Turgenev play that Vyacheslav Shalevich initially rehearsed for the already legendary Pier – a performance dedicated to the 90th anniversary of the Vakhtangov Theater. But he still played Galileo Galilei. This role was his last.