REVIEW: LOOPED at Vintage Theatre Productions

by Michael Mulhern

Based on real events, LOOPED takes place in the summer of 1965, when Tallulah Bankhead needed to redub – or loop – one line of dialogue for what would be her final movie. What starts out as a friendly visit to the studio quickly dissolves into a hilarious battle of wits and wills between the divine diva and the film’s editor.

What can I say……I loved this show…..I loved this show…..I loved this show!!!! Sorry – I was in a loop…lol!

As a self proclaimed movie fanatic, I have to confess I am a Fraud. While I grew up going to movies almost every week, having Oscar parties and making sure I saw every best picture every year; and even binging previous Oscar winners on the Movie Classic channels on Television, I had no idea who Tallulah Bankhead was. Thank You Vintage Theatre for yet another theatrical gem that made me wanting to know and explore more. This is true to form with this talented company – Vintage is always exposing audiences to classics, contemporary and even hidden productions that we never knew existed. Keep up the good work! 

Deborah Persoff is a tour de force of personality, wit and especially heart and it is always a delight watching her talent onstage. Christian Mast was wonderful as Danny Miller and had a lovely character arch throughout the show. My only wish was that he was a little more manically nervous in the beginning of the show. I enjoyed seeing David Bond-Trimble onstage again and always love his characters. I feel he could have had the audience in stitches if he had a repetitious quirk like making an exasperated sigh every time he delivered a line.

Director Craig Bond did a great job with casting and the show flowed effortlessly. I also commend him for putting on such a moving production of an icon that many (especially this new generation) do not know. I also adored the set, by designers Gov Landrum and Craig Bond that captured a small sound room and yet gave the characters range to more around and express themselves. 

This show was a personal delight – you will laugh, you may cry, but you will get to know the legend that is Tallulah Bankhead and the exceptional talent that is Deborah Persoff.

NOTES FROM THE DIRECTOR – Craig Bond:

{Imagine being a film and stage star in the 1930s to 1950s. Imagine being sought out to play Scarlett O’Hara and to be the muse for Tennessee Williams to create Blanche DuBois for you. Consider how it would feel to have you Broadway roles given to Bette Davis to portray in film after you created characters on the stage, and how that would work on your psyche after years of hard work to then be discovered by primarily the gay community in New York. HOw much hurt, damage, acting, facade and loneliness can an icon take before sinking into self-loathing or self indulgence? Perhaps these are the compelling issues surrounding the theme of Matthew Lombardi’s LOOPED. Tallulah Bankhead was a tour de force and an oritional. She had so much personality that perhaps fans couldn’t look past har fun nature and forced her to always be “on” and to be “Tallulah”.

To me, Tallulah was one of the first great performers that captured the hearts and attention of everyone she met during her early years. Her stardom become more personality as time went by, and the public began to only see that personality vs. her true acting talent. Other personalities like hers might be Mae West or Paul Lynde. Tallulah was a trailblazer and a trendsetter whom many people (gay men in particular) grew to love and follow.}

LOOPED is enchanting audiences now through December 15th. Vintage Theatre is located at 1468 Dayton Street in Aurora, CO. For tickets or more information, contact the box office  available by calling 303-856-7830 or online at www.vintagetheatre.org.

 

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