I Drank Some Russians Under The Table!--and met a fabulous star
hehehe---The most repeated advice to me before coming over to Moscow to direct my musical, "Dorian-The Remarkable Mister Gray," was to be careful when drinking with Russians.
I made a plan to sip the WOdka like one would Cognac or a Liqueur - And that plan worked out perfectly.
There was a birthday party for my host, Stas Namin, last night. And of course the Vodka flowed. I appeared to always be drinking, but while I was sipping the amount I knew I could tolerate, my new Russian friends were tossing down shots like in the bar scenes in Western Movies. And many were also drinking Chianti on top of it! Yikes!
By the party's end, one gentleman was passed out at a table, cradling his head in his arms, - nobody minded. And as some people left, they literally had to hang on me as they said good night, because they had trouble standing on their own. Tolerant spouses would peel them off me so they could go home.
Meanwhile, I had just a pleasant buzz, walked perfectly normally, had no hangover in the morning.
I did it!
TAKE A LOOK AT THIS - One of the guests at Stas's party turned out to be one of Russia's most beloved performers. When I listened to her proposing her toast, I knew right away she was an actress. She had the party spellbound and laughing heartily. I'd found a musician there who spoke some English - when I asked him, "An actress, yes?" His eyes got wide as if I had to be from the moon. "YES!--Only our most famous actress!"
Soon, I was over to her table to meet her, I kissed her hand, a gesture which she received as if I should do nothing less, considering her fame. And the man I handed my camera to took this nice picture of me nestled between Stas Namin (of Russian Rock-n-Roll fame) and this delightful woman, Russia's legendary star - Ludmila Gurchenko. The woman on the left is Stas's proud mother.