Based on the 1961 comedy Once There Was a Russian by Sam Spewack
Russia's aging Empress, Catherine the Great, makes a grand tour of the Crimea in 1788 arranged by her uncertain lover, Field Marshal Governor General Potemkin. Catherine engages American Revolutionary War naval hero Captain John Paul Jones to lead the Russian fleet in the Black Sea against the Turks. Aware that Catherine is attracted to Scotsman Jones, jealous Potemkin uses all his intrigue and wiles to discredit the former American hero. Nymphomaniac Sura, one of Potemkin's "nieces," makes her own Russian assault on John Paul Jones, getting him drunk and into her boudoir. But Presbyterian Jones' Calvinistic lecturing dissuades sexpot Sura for a brief reformation. Potemkin's fear of becoming just another of the Empress's discarded lovers is, temporarily, calmed and he is reinstated in Catherine's favor.
Trivia & History
The source play Once There Was a Russian opened and closed in one night on Broadway in 1961.