Saturday, July 12, 2008


See "Looped" at Pasadena Playhouse! I went last night with Jan Sanders, our director of public libraries, and Karyn Ezell, director of human resources.

This world premiere production stars Valerie Harper as Tallulah Bankhead, the legendary stage and screen diva who, like so many of that era, shot to stardom in the exciting yet oppressive Hollywood studio system while being a hard-driven, self-absorbed, promiscuous, drug-addicted alcoholic and then spiraled down to a failed career for the same reason.

The play depicts an actual moment in Tallulah's career when she had to come into a sound studio to loop one line for what was to become her final film. The session should have taken about three minutes but it actually lasted an entire day. The playwright, Matthew Lombardo, uses this event as the vehicle to show the audience what an eccentric, entertaining and tragic figure Tallulah was.

It's funny, filthy, poignant and entertaining. Valerie Harper nails the role of Tallulah. As Jan and Karyn and I said when the play was over, we didn't see Rhoda come through once during the play. Harper channeled Bankhead magnificently.

Chad Allen costars as the studio manager who is at turns frustrated and angry with Bankhead, and desperate to learn more about her, all the while hiding his own secrets that she eventually persuades him to reveal.

"Looped" is at the Playhouse until August 3. Get there and see it! I presume it's destined for Broadway. I already smell a Tony nomination for Valerie Harper!


AP said...

Thanks for a wonderful birthday!

- AP

Petrea said...

Thanks for your recommendation, we'll try to get there and see it.

Ann, I took a look at Aaron's post about his bday party. You are funny!

Miss Havisham said...

Poor Tallulah. Her mastery of the live theatre never transferred to film. She had something more than can be captured on film. It was some kind of magic to be in her presence. Or so, that's what my monkeyheaded theatrical granpa used to say. He got to see her in live performance.

I love our playhouse, and so did he.