Photo: GLOBAL LOOK PRESS
Various things happen on stage that are not in accordance with the text of the play: reservations, “departures” and other funny anecdotes. This is how the stories of actors are born, who poison themselves in dressing rooms, and then they are told to the public in actor sketches. These stories sometimes seem implausible, but the storytellers themselves assure: everything is taken from life! It’s just that the art of the joke was on the same level as the acting…
Nikolai Karachentsov told a story that he witnessed. In “Lenkom” there was an “optimistic tragedy.” Two snow-white battleships were standing at the back of the stage. And somehow a prop man, who was kicked out of the theater for drinking and was finishing his last day, decided to take revenge on the theater. With black paint, he brought a three-letter word on board. The word, though crookedly written, was read by the entire audience when the curtain rose. The laughter started. The stage engineer opened the curtain. The show was delayed. The swear words were smeared with white paint. The audience was silent, but the white paint dried and black came out from under it. And the famous word resplendent aboard the ship. In the hall, the public began to fall under the chairs. And again they raised the curtain… When it opened for the third time, the room choked with laughter. The curse word was hammered out with cross-shaped boards.
Vladimir Etush and the slanderous boy
Vladimir Etush. Photo: Vakhtangov Theater
The People’s Artist of the USSR Vladimir Etush once told such a story. They played the play “Two Veronets”. And now Etush comes out on stage in a suit, with makeup, says his monologue. And in front of him, right on the stage, is a boy. He put his muzzle on the ramp and looked at Etush with soft eyes. And suddenly he quietly says: “Pede … stick.”
“At the same moment, the text flew out of my head. But it was a momentary clouding, – Etush remembered how it was. I gave the boy a stern look and continued. He understood my look, but after a while he repeated, addressing me: “Pede… stick.” The boy insisted. This was heard not only by me, but also by my partner in the play. And when I went backstage, he told me: “You can’t fool a child!”
Intoxicated gnomes and a revived bee
Photo: Boris KUDRYAVOV
Director Andrey Zhitinkin is a warehouse of actor’s stories. In the Moscow City Hall Theater there was a children’s fairy tale “Bee”. It was during the New Year holidays, when the children have holidays. And the artists have Christmas trees. “Imagine the state of actors who, on the morning of January 1, after “yesterday”, need to play in the performance of gnomes, with a fake butt, a stupid round nose, pronounce the text in children’s voices. .. According to the plot, the bee dies, and the gnomes must revive it with their warm breath… Harmless in peacetime, the remark “You need to breathe on the bee so that it comes to life” on the morning of January 1 sounded almost threatening.
And then the seven gnomes began to breathe on the bee. And one dwarf, who on New Year’s Eve was celebrating with special vigor, breathed so much that the actress who played the Bee came to life in an instant. And she quietly told him: “Yes, I myself will breathe on you like that” …
Mayor-confusion and spectators-losers
Papanov: – The artist on the stage experiences such excitement! Photo: Shot of the performance.
Anatoly Papanov, according to the recollections of his colleagues, hated making premieres. The oppression bothered him. And here is the premiere of “The Government Inspector” at the Teatro de la Sátira. Papanov in the role of the mayor. The classic plot begins, and suddenly Papanov says: “Gentlemen, I hasten to tell you unpleasant news, Khlestakov is coming to us.” According to Griboyedov’s text, we remember that at the beginning of the action no one knows this name yet. All the artists thought: Khan, the audience will now start laughing, but they know the play! Yeah, they’re barely holding back. But fortunately, not a single spectator in the room paid attention to this caveat. Either they forgot, or they didn’t read it… Or maybe the teacher’s game fascinated. So they played comedy to the end.
Alexander Domogarov and the lost dog
Let Domogarov improvise. Oh, and Andrey Ilyin suffered for him (on the left). Photo: Shot of the performance.
Andrei Zhitinkin himself recalled how he staged the play “My poor Marat” at the Moscow City Hall Theater. Andrey Ilyin, instead of “And cut it on your nose,” made a slip, and it turned out: “And cut it on your bitch.” This comment was directed at the character of Alexander Domogarov. He tensed, something must be answered. And since Domogarov is a truthful school actor, he asked Ilyin: “What bitch?”
The main character of the play, the girl Lika, realized that the performance had gone wrong, and decided to “help” her peers: “Guys, don’t fight, I myself don’t know what a bitch.” Ilyin began to get out: “On what you want, on this and kill.”
“What are you suggesting?” – the truth-seeker Domogarov continued to interrogate … It was necessary to save the situation, and the director Zhitinkin behind the scenes demanded in a whisper to play the next staging: “Let’s play champagne!” Naturally, according to the law of the lining, when Domogarov began to open champagne, the bottle did not want to open. He then squeezed her between his legs and said, “Well, here’s the bitch.”
Andrei Mironov and bald Derzhavin
…but Alexander Shirvindt was alert and never broke away.
Photo: Vladimir VELENGURIN
It was always very difficult to play Alexander Shirvindt – grated kalach! But Andrei Mironov easily succumbed to the draw, which was mercilessly used by other artists. In the Satire Theater, Mikhail Derzhavin was known as the king of jokes. In the 1970s, there was a show called Captured by Time about the events of the 1917 revolution. The main role of Vsevolod Vishnevsky was played by Andrei Mironov. Mikhail Derzhavin played a White Guard lieutenant. This performance went on for many years, and all the actors got tired. They started hooliganizing on stage. Derzhavin glued a long nail to his little finger and scratched his nose with it, then glued on long eyelashes, mustaches, sideburns, made a hooked nose or protruding ears…
Mikhail Derzhavin at the Theater of Satire joked better than anyone … Photo: satire.ru
Every time Mironov looked into Derzhavin’s eyes, he died laughing. Although, before going on stage, he went into a friend’s dressing room and checked that everything was in order. But as soon as he left, Derzhavin quickly added the necessary details to the image.
Mironov trusted his colleagues and often fell victim to their wit.
Photo: GLOBAL LOOK PRESS
In one of the performances, a “bald head” was put on his head. And at the most serious moment, when Mironov’s hero read the report, the White Guards lieutenant Derzhavin took off his cap, took out a handkerchief and wiped his bald head with it. Mironov quickly finished the text and ran backstage in a fit of hysterical laughter.