Directing The Blue Bird in then-Leningrad in 1974-75, George Cukor told Evgeni Shcherbakov he’d like to take him back to Los Angeles and put him in the movies, and/or something. Too bad Perestroika hadn’t yet happened and Genya couldn’t at least have availed himself of the being-in-the-movies part.

Genya has two dance duets with Valentina Gannibalova; they’re also in some ensemble scenes with the stars.┬áIf only for that, I love this movie, but I haven’t seen it in a long time and remember thinking it not the bomb that it was critically considered.

Genya had fun stories of Elizabeth Taylor, Ava Gardner, Jane Fonda from the shooting. I recall him recalling how Liz attended one performance of Gannibalova’s at the then-Kirov, and entertained royally in her box during intermissions.

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