Saturday, January 18, 2014

Review: (Toronto) A Conversation With Edith Head

A Conversation with Edith Head
by Gregory Bunker

Derriere not up to snuff? Could your bosom be doing more for you? Get some sage fashion tips from Hollywood costume legend Edith Head.

Written by Paddy Calistro and Susan Claassen, and produced by Joanna Syrokomla and CAFTCAD, A Conversation with Edith Head makes its Canadian premiere at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre this weekend only.

The year is 1981 – the year of Miss Head’s passing – and she’s (Susan Claassen) recounting some of the highlights and not-so-highlights of her time in Tinseltown. With a career spanning almost 60 years dressing Hollywood’s top actors and winning eight Academy Awards doing it (the most any woman has won), there are stories to tell.

As the title suggests, it is a conversation with the audience, and the questions stem mostly from our host Stuart (Stuart Moulton), whose occasionally facile question is the only reminder that what we are really seeing is a play, and not Edith Head herself. Susan Claassen, for her part, absolutely nails the role to a method-acting degree. There are many references to works or people that may be at first unfamiliar, but the portraits and illustrations on stage make this insider knowledge accessible. The conversation is cleverly guided by some audience questions and even some spontaneous, witty remarks about those foolish enough to attend without dressing appropriately.

There’s something here for almost everyone, especially film enthusiasts, but designers and artists would relate to her story as well. Clocking in at an hour and a half without intermission, it is a bit too long except for the most devoted fans. 

Sadly, it’s a show with a short run. The legend lives on for two more days, so stash your plaid and make like it’s 1981.

Run time: 90 minutes with no intermission. 
Runs to January 19.
Also see CharPo’s bonus feature: First-Person – Susan Claassen on A Conversation with Edith Head

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are moderated. Please read our guidelines for posting comments.