Petrosyan and Stepanenko skillfully concealed that they had long gone

The artists of “Krivoy Mirror” voiced all the versions of the divorce that they discuss behind the scenes. But they began with the story of their love.
Photo: Maris Morkans

They met in 1979. That year 34-year-old Yevgeny Petrosyan created the Variety Miniatures Theater in his own name and sought out a universal actress with good vocals for the troupe. The 26-year-old graduate of GITIS Elena Stepanenko attracted most of all the applicants. She got the first role in the play “A Good Word and a Cat is Nice”. No one thought that between them romance would start, because both were married then. Petrosyan was married for the third time - to an art critic from St. Petersburg Lyudmila. Colleagues say, she opposed the heavy workload even then of a successful humorist, and he, on the contrary, dreamed of working all day long. Stepanenko was married for the first time to pianist Alexander Vasilyev, who first, in the mid-1970s, brought the spouse to the stage, she parodied famous actors and sang, and he accompanied her.

Photo: Gennady Kalashnik

For six years, Eugene and Elena worked side by side, gradually forming a creative duet. And then they divorced their halves and got married in 1985. For 33 years, fans considered them an exemplary artistic family. Yes, and colleagues - too.

Photo: Yevgeny Petrosyan’s personal archive
Mikhail Belov

“The fact that they were very warm and gentle towards each other for 30 years is absolutely certain,” actor Mikhail Belov shared with Antenna. - Elena G. always watched the health of Yevgeny Vaganovich. I myself observed this during 12 years of work in the “Curved Mirror”. Five years ago, Yevgeny Vaganovich underwent a serious heart surgery - coronary artery bypass surgery. He has two artificial valves. Now he is very attentive to health and is doing well. On fitness goes, does exercises with the personal doctor. His daily routine is tight. It is not clear, against the background of which the heart is so worn. He smoked sometime, but at the age of 40 he quit. He did not drink, and now even does not consume wine. He just has a busy schedule - 56 years on stage in the pop genre, and he takes everything, including criticism, to heart. Elena Grigoryevna spent the night in the hospital, made sure that everything was done to him in time, looked for the best doctors - he was operated on by the legendary Leo Bokeria.Evgeny Vaganovich, in gratitude, put Elena Grigorievna as the first numbers in the concerts, gave her her own flowers from the concerts, although she herself was presented with a lot. I took them to restaurants, they went to theaters together. He is a professor in his work, he devoted a lot to books about variety art, so she was interested in communicating with him. They did everything together: they rested and worked.

No need to blame either Tanya or Yevgeny Vaganovich

Mikhail Belov

- Yevgeny Vaganovich is very worried that now everyone is discussing his relationship with Tanka Brukhunova, who became its director several years ago. She is 29 years old, she is a pretty girl. Naturally, as a director, he spends most of his time with him - concerts, tours, filming ... She sometimes prompts him. These are technical matters. Sometimes Tanya accompanies Evgeny Vaganovich to the premiere of a good performance. He is an avid theater and does not miss a single new production. So what is it that invites Tanya and they go together? No need to blame anyone - neither her nor Yevgeny Vaganovich. The reason for his divorce from Elena Grigorievna can be just fatigue. Maybe they decided to take a break from each other. Maybe there was some kind of quarrel.But for the past 15 years, I have often seen them together at work and at the shooting - they skillfully hid even from their closest colleagues that they had long gone. Real artists.

Mikhail Belov

- She is a very kind, intelligent and intelligent person. A sensitive girl who understands everything perfectly. The previous director, Yuri Yakovlevich Ditkovich, worked with Evgeny Vaganovich for more than 30 years, he died in 2012. After graduating from school, Tanya moved to Moscow from Tula, where she was raised by intelligent mother and grandmother. In the capital at that time, Tanyusha led the fan sites of Evgeny Vaganovich and Elena Grigorievna and went to all the shows of the “Curve Mirror”. I remember how she gave flowers when she did not occupy any position, how she took pictures behind the scenes with everyone. And then somehow it happened. I myself did not understand how Tanya entered into the confidence of all. But we saw nothing wrong with that. All of her accepted, and the whole team is great about Tanya. There is no friction over the recent events. We correspond with her. I supported her, I also wanted to hold on, patience and strength. She replied: "Thank you, Michelle, we will hold on." I don’t remember her conflicts with Elena Grigorievna, she also treated her wonderfully.People are hoping that Petrosyan and Stepanenko were just joking with the divorce, but no, this is not PR, everything is serious. If the relationship with Elena Grigorievna began to decline, and 15 years ago, he did not live alone. Tanka, too, is perfectly watching the health of Yevgeny Vaganovich today.

Petrosyan ran around the jewelry salons for gifts for his wife, she brought him borscht in a saucepan at a rehearsal

Artem Miller

“Yevgeny Vaganovich without Stepanenko would never have withstood those tough working conditions into which he and himself and the company were driven,” said actor Artyom Miller in a conversation with Antenna. - In order to get into the show of his main competitor, he had to pay money, and to himself in “Curved Mirror” he recruited actors without cronyism, for which we all love him. He took me out of pity at all: they attacked me on the street, severely injured me, I needed money for treatment. Yevgeny Vaganovich sheltered me in his program, did not give the abyss, I pray for him all my life. It was hard working for Petrosyan. He took the example of the Old Testament Moses: he gathered artists exactly 40 days before the recording of the “Curve Mirror” air and drove endlessly, drove through the text. All these 40 days we were actually locked in one of his apartments, and worked for 6–10 hours of rehearsal without stopping, and Yevgeny Vaganovich was with us.Elena came a little later, always with her brought food for him. She knew clearly that he could for health, that is not. He ate only meat and adored her cabbage rolls, meatballs, pasta in a naval manner. Bringing a saucepan of rich borsch, went inside and whispered gently to him: “Marrying, leave the guys alone, now we have to go eat.” We also did not forget: on the table exhibited tea, coffee, sandwiches with cheese and sausage. He is very hardworking. We all wondered how at his age and with his health he had been rehearsing with us so long and hard. In addition to Moscow, he went to St. Petersburg to the Military Medical Academy. Then the doctor came to his concerts.

Artem Miller

- The couple they were very friendly. There was no swearing. Yevgeny Vaganovich always gave Elena something. When we toured with test concerts before the shooting, after them, despite the terrible fatigue, ran around the local jewelry and art salons. When asked where he was going, he invariably answered: “For a gift.” I was very surprised when I learned about the divorce. There was not the slightest suspicion that something was wrong, no gossip. I remember once, during a test concert, Yevgeny Vaganovich forgot the line, but Elena laughed and easily suggested it to him, and he laughed too. It was so touching.They played a miniature together, and Yevgeny Vaganovich said: “I looked at Elena, woke up and remembered everything.” Test concerts lasted 5–6 hours, each included almost five “Curved Mirrors”. I do not know how the audience stood. We stood, because in the end he spoiled us with a delicious banquet. But the atmosphere was wonderful, and the team was awesome. Evgeny Vaganovich cool gathered guys. And Elena was very supportive when someone was sick, brought expensive medicines. I have never seen her with anyone else: Yevgeny Vaganovich has a director, assistants, and she only had one of these for her.

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