Lee Pressman Harpo Goes To Leningrad

(4 stars; 8 reviews)

Afternoon Play: Harpo Goes to Leningrad Thu 4th May 2006, 14:15 on BBC Radio 4 FM By Lee Pressman The true story of Harpo Marx's 1933 tour of Russia. Misunderstood as a comic, arrested as a terrorist, and enlisted as a spy, Harpo finds himself alone in a strange country with only his burly female minder for company. Producer/Director Celia de Wolff Harpo....Garrick Hagon Woollcott....Philip Voss Bullitt....William Hope Malekinov....Sarah Badel Captain/Vasiliev....Ian Masters Director/Chico....Simon Treves Groucho/Colonel....Keith Drinkel Reporter/Agent 2....Ian Shaw Inspector/Bukin/Agent 1....Sam Dale Dorothy Parker/Ponomarkenko....Rachel Atkins

This recording is part of the Old Time Radio collection.


Harpo Goes to Leningrad 43:58


Harpo Goes to Moscow?

(0 stars)

This excerpt may provide more information... Harpo Marx and Some Brothers EDP 380, Fall 1997 By Aaron Lee Harpo goes to Moscow In the fall of 1933, Harpo received a call from his by then good friend, Alexander Woollcott: "I've decided that Harpo Marx should be the first American artist to perform in Moscow after the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. become friendly nations. Think of it!" (Marx, 1961, 297). Woollcott figured that with Harpo's pantomimic capabilities he would be a hit in Soviet Russia; Harpo decided to give it a try. After a slight delay with the Soviet customs (they thought Harpo was a spy), Harpo was able to get into Moscow. He was assigned his own personal guide (spy to make sure he wasn't a spy) and given an appointment with the head of the department of Soviet theater to set up some dates for appearances; he wasn't given any. After a week of trying Harpo was ready to leave the country when the Soviet Foreign Minister (Stalin's right hand man, Litinov) rectified things and got him a Soviet group of actors to put together a show. For the show Harpo would play a harp solo, a sketch with his clarinet and a pantomime piece with the rest of the group. Harpo's opening night in Moscow was arguably the best opening night in comedic history. "I'll be a son of a bitch if I didn't knock them out of their seats. . . . I only had to wiggle an eyebrow to bring the house down." (Marx, 1961, 317). The Soviet crowd was awestruck. At the end of the show Harpo would make curtain call after curtain call. On the next day, one Soviet critic would write that Harpo had received, "an unprecedented standing ovation, lasting ten minutes." (Marx, 1961,318). Harpo loved every minute of it, "No other success ever gave me quite the same satisfaction. Besides, it happened on my fortieth birthday." (Marx, 1961, 318). In the six weeks that the show ran in Russia Harpo became a celebrity. The show was an incredible success. Everywhere it played it received the same enthusiastic response it had met in Moscow. Harpo had shown that comedy, particularly his, could transcend culture. It was the defining moment in his career. https://www.users.miamioh.edu/shermalw/honors_2001_fall/honors_papers_2000/lee_harpomarx.html

Harpo goes buckety buckety through the USSR

(4 stars)

Nice dramatization of Harpo's tour of Russia. The voices convey the story pretty well although Harpo's real voice was that of a New York Jewish man; hence the silence of his character. His real speaking voice would have ruined his comic characterization. He abandoned his real name of Adolf in his contempt for a German leader with a similar name. Wonder whatever became of his female Russian minder ?

Delightful and seems to be

(5 stars)

a true story.


(3 stars)

I don’t speak Russian, but even I know that Russian women’s surnames end in a. It would be Malikenova, not Malikenov!