If I Had To Live My Life Again…

…I’d make the same mistakes, only sooner.

Those certainly weren’t the last words ever uttered by the outrageous Tallulah Bankhead, so vividly and convincingly brought to life on the stage at the Lyceum Theater by Valerie Harper, who was perfectly cast in the role. The play is “Looped” and is based on an actual event, when the brashy Bankhead was called in to rerecord (loop) one indiscernible line of dialogue in her last movie “Die, Die My Darling”. Harper was captivating, croaking out Tallulah dialogue with an inebriated slur, firing off missives as if the legendary actress herself was strutting about the stage. And even though some of the funny lines were obviously contrived, Harper made them sound believable.

But then there was the subplot. If there was a setup for it, both Ariel and I missed it– at the very least, one of us would have caught it–and it comprised most of the second act. Of course, I don’t know if the dark secret of the film editor assigned to get this “loop” is based on actual fact, but suddenly it becomes known he is burdened with a dark personal secret which Tallulah divines from him with relentless persistence. But I would think, in a dramatic piece and with the apparent importance of the subplot, there would have been better foreshadowing. For this leaving us in limbo, I have to deduct one point. For Valerie Harper, I gave her performance an 8, bringing my total score for the show a 7.

…codeine…bourbon… THOSE were the last words of Tallulah Bankhead

So, now, get this, tonight, we’re going with some friends to see Kristin Chenoweth and Sean Hayes in “Promises, Promises”…on a school night! So you know there’s gonna be another review coming your way.

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