Honestly I'm not a theater person, not that I don't like to go if the production is well received. In my life time I've only been to a handful and mostly in Chicago. However, this past Sunday I attended the production of Looped, directed by Gary Vandeventer and staring Elizabeth Bouvier with Gregory M. Nacozy.
In the summer of 1965 Tallulah Bankhead spent an entire day re-recording (or looping) a few lines of dialogue for a horror film called " Die, Die, My Darling). Working with the sometimes dull film editor Danny. Bankhead was on her on her last leg, dying of emphysema, extremely unemployable because of her unreliability, and addiction to booze, cocaine, and cigarettes. During the heyday of her time she was considered a great stage comedian, and well respected dramatic actress. However due to her outrageous behavior both onstage and offstage it just overwhelmed her talent.
Ms. Bouvier gave an amazing performance. It is clear that she is both witty and funny, while at the same time capturing the essence of the character. I was struck how she could "rip" off a one-liner then turn around and be completely absorbed in the dramatic side of the play (it was effortless). Mr. Nacozy was equally effective in portraying a frustrated film editor, trying to get a difficult actress to do her job. They managed to toss around the jokes, while remaining commented to their character.
There are several one-liners dealing with Bankhead's affairs with both sexes ("[Joan] Crawford was a lousy lay. She kept getting out of bed to beat the children"). But if you really like wisecracks Ms. Bouvier delivers them perfectly.
Source: Bret, David. "Tallulah Bankhead". Robson Book, Limited. 1997.
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