Four-time Emmy winner Valerie Harper — of “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and “Rhoda” fame — will portray the late actress Tallulah Bankhead in the world premiere of Looped, which will begin performances at the Pasadena Playhouse June 27.
Directed by Rob Ruggiero (Make Me a Song: The Music of William Finn), Matthew Lombardo’s play will officially open July 8 and run through Aug. 3. Chad Allen (“Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman” and The Little Dog Laughed) co-stars.
Looped, according to press notes, “is loosely based on the true story of Tallulah Bankhead (Valerie Harper), the original celebrity bad girl, who was called into a sound studio to re-record (‘or loop’) one line from her final film ‘Die, Die, My Darling.’ The session was to have only taken five minutes, but instead lasted well over eight hours. Southern, but by no means a belle, Ms. Bankhead was known for her wild partying that outshined even today’s superstars, including innumerable affairs with male and female celebrities and outlandish exploits that were even investigated by the British secret service. Relish in the promiscuity, scandal and outrageous wit of this sultry-voiced stage and film star.”
In a statement Pasadena Playhouse artistic director Sheldon Epps said, “The hugely enthusiastic response of Playhouse audiences to Tea at Five a couple of seasons ago gives me tremendous excitement about presenting the world premiere of Matthew’s new play focused on the life of the wonderfully theatrical and outrageous Tallulah Bankhead. He has taken a true incident in this tremendous character’s life and theatricalizes that moment in time to examine her life story with all of the expected humor, bawdiness, and good spirits. At the same time his depiction of the great lady is also touching, emotional, and very loving.”
The creative team also includes Adrian W. Jones (scenic design), Alex Jaeger (costume design), Michael Gilliam (lighting design), Michael Hooker (sound design), Charles LaPointe (hair and wig design), Lea Chazin (production stage manager) and Hethyr Verhoef (assistant stage manager).
Playwright Matthew Lombardo has also penned Tea at Five, Mother and Child and Guilty Innocence.
Pasadena Playhouse presents Looped in association with Tony Cacciotti and David Steiner.
Show times are Tuesday-Friday at 8 PM, Saturday at 4 and 8 PM and Sunday at 2 and 7 PM.
The Pasadena Playhouse is located at 39 South El Molino Avenue in Pasadena. Tickets, priced $32-$65, are available by calling (626) 356-PLAY or by visiting www.Pasadenaplayhouse.org.
Reverend’s Reviews: Getting Looped With Tallulah
San Bernardino County Sun