THE STORY: The action centers on the difficulties encountered by Professor Preobrajansky, an innovative medical practitioner who specializes in sexual rejuvenation (by organ implantation), in his running battle with the management committee of his apartment house—who want the Professor to give up some of his many rooms. Fortunately the professor (who counters their demands by insisting that he needs even more space) has been able to enhance the sex lives of some quite highly placed people (with occasional side effects, such as having their hair turn green) and his life has been protected and enriched by such rarities as fresh meat and French wines. But when the professor takes in a stray dog, Sharik, and transplants human testes and a pituitary gland into his scrawny body, his troubles begin to multiply. Sharik not only learns to walk upright and talk, but becomes “Comrade Sharikov,” the head of the Moscow Communal Property Administration in charge of exterminating homeless cats. He also spouts Marx and Engels, guzzles the professor’s vodka, breaks wind at the dinner table, pinches the maid, and refers lovingly to his benefactor as “Dad” —much to the latter’s annoyance. Eventually Preobrajansky, his patience at an end (and convinced that once a cur, always a cur), performs a reverse operation, returning Sharik to his former state—and confounding the authorities when they come in search of the contentious “Comrade Sharikov."
An up-to-date, highly theatrical and very funny adaptation of Bulgakov’s classic satire about the problems faced by modern Russian society in its attempts to turn the peasantry and the proletariat into the ruling class. Long banned in the Soviet Union the stage version became, some sixty years later, the “hottest ticket in town” when produced by the Moscow Youth Theater.