“You were positively loathsome,” theatre-goers said as they shook James J Patterson’s hand while exiting the Al Lefcowitz Theatre at The Writer’s Center, in Bethesda, Md, after viewing a staged reading of the new play Anna Nicole, by Grace Cavalieri.
See a brief review and pictures here!
I was able to deflect attention away from my horrid character, the wicked agent Horshel in Anna Nicole, by pointing out what a spectacular Anna Rose Solari made. The hundred plus patrons in attendance were treated to a sympathetic reinterpretation of the personae of Cavalieri’s Anna, who, according to her tutor, Pushkin, played by Jim Gagne, was “damaged by gender,” and puts “deprivation on trial.”
- Rose as Anna by Bill Lawrence
But it was Rose Solari’s depiction of the muddled, confused “sweet kid,” Anna Nicole Smith that sent patrons away disbelieving what they had seen. The inhuman image of American-style sex-image marketing rendered human, and worthy of consideration.
- Jim Gagne as Pushkin by Bill Lawrence
In Cavalieri’s version of events, all those in Anna’s immediate orbit claim jurisdiction over the sexpot Anna. Her agent, Horshel, the crudest of all, attempts to market a product called “Pop Porn” for viewers to munch while they watch her sex videos. Her tutor attempts to claim intellectual jurisdiction insisting that “God will tell me what you should know, then I’ll tell you,” and coldly brushes off Anna’s advances insisting, “I’m an intellectual, I get one erection a year.” Meanwhile, even her phantom dead twin sister “Anima,” played with a dreamy wickedness by Ellen Cole, hovers nearby when Anna is afraid, taunts her, mocks her, and enjoys her suffering. The one sympathetic person in her life, a kindly interviewer who attempts to see the human side of the model wanting to publish only pictures of her beautiful face, played by Ken Flynn, is elbowed aside rudely by her needy exploiters.
- Patterson as Horshel by Bill Lawrence
Ken Flynn by Dan Murano
Ellen Cole as Anima by Dan Murano
Anna/Rose & Horshel/Patterson by Bill Lawrence
Ken Flynn, Ellen Cole, Rose Solari, James Patterson, Jim Gagne, Grace Cavalieri by Bill Lawrence
Playwright Grace Cavalieri by Dan Murano
“The audience loved it. We loved it. I want to see it again!” – Judith Farr
The Writer’s Center Crowd by Dan Murano
“JP made me hate him, so he did his job.” – Betty Tate
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