Monday, April 29, 2013
TALLULAH IS COMING TO TOWN
With a tumbler of bourbon in one hand and a cigarette dangling in the other, Tallulah Bankhead was a southern actress who flaunted excesses and ravished underlings. Outspoken and flamboyant, she had a persona that was larger-than-life. The famous lady in question will be bringing her giant sized ego and personality to the stage of the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts in Hartford from Tuesday, May 7 to Sunday, May 12.
Stephanie Powers will play the famous, or infamous if you prefer, star in "Looped" by Matthew Lombardo, under the careful and detailed direction of Rob Ruggiero. In the summer of 1965, Tallulah Bankhead was "invited" to return to the studio to re-record, dub or "loop" one line of dialogue from her last movie "Die! Die! My Darling!"
The fact that the actress was drunk when she arrives, the fact that she was demanding and difficult, the fact that she has a battle royal of wits with the film editor Danny Miller, all combine to make what should have been a fifteen minute breeze into an eight hour ordeal, an intensely humorous ordeal.
The play is based on this true event. The legendary actress had to say "And so Patricia, as I was telling you, that deluded rector has in literal effect closed the church to me." The fact that Stephanie Powers co-starred with Bankhead on this movie is delicious irony, especially when you realize she is the Patricia in question. The movie was a British thriller about a woman (Mrs. Trefoile, played by Bankhead) who blames Patricia (Powers) for her son's death.
They were to marry but he dies in a car accident. The religion-crazed and demented Mrs. Trefoile holds Patricia captive to cleanse her soul and ultimately to kill her. Fortunately Patricia is rescued and Mrs. Trefoile meets a deadly end.
You probably remember Stephanie Powers best for starring opposite Robert Wagner in the television series "Hart to Hart." Her tour-de-force performance as Tallulah has been called on the cutting edge of fabulous.
For tickets ($35 and up), call the Bushnell, 166 Capitol Avenue, Hartford at 860-987-5900 or online at www.bushnell.org. Performances are Tuesday to Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m.and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.
Witness the showdown between a traditionally mild mannered sound editor, played by Brian Hutchinson, who is tempted to use his audio cords and wires to squeeze the correct words from the throat of the inebriated star.