Picks and Pans Review: Silver Anniversary
updated 04/06/1987 AT 01:00 AM EDT
•originally published 04/06/1987 AT 01:00 AM EDT
Though undistinguished as theater, this drama about agricultural mismanagement is notable as an opening shot in Mikhail Gorbachev's campaign of glasnost. But it was a little too "open" for Gorbachev and wife Raisa. After attending the play last year Gorbachev phoned Moscow Art Theater director Oleg Yefremov, diffidently remarking that one coarse line in the play about "using a tool" on someone had caused him embarrassment. "I was raised on a farm, so I know the meaning," Gorbachev said, "but my wife asked me to explain. Couldn't you change that line?" Now the actor uses an older epithet that translates as "I spit on you from a high bell tower."