Do you ever wonder what Larry Blum is doing these days?
You know, Larry Blum. He was a regular on All My Children?
Larry Blum. The Solid Gold Dancer with the mustache?
Come on people, LARRY BLUM.
He’s only been on every televised awards show known to man. He was the On-camera Escort for Susan Lucci the night she finally won her Daytime Emmy?
Yeah, that guy!
Well, these days Larry Blum is doing an autobiographical one-man show at Theatre Row’s Asylum Lab. The show is a whimsical walk down memory lane in which Blum claims (and proves): BLINK & You Will Miss Me.
The fates could not have been kinder to a boy that would one day grow up to be a friend of Dorothy. Born somewhere in the sixties, Larry was one of three children in a very liberal Jewish family that revered the arts – theater in particular. As a native New Yorker, he knew 42nd street when it was still a red light district and frequented the Stonewall Inn before the riots. Blum came of age in a time and place that would inform who he would become: an entertainer.
A golden trunk of costumes serves as visual aids for each chapter of Blum’s life story. Each costume marks a new milestone in his career as dancer/actor. Some costumes marked a new stage in his personal journey from being gay in small letters to GAY in capital letters. Video clips projected on a screen mounted upstage injected the show with just the right dose of nostalgia and empirical proof that yes, Larry was there.
Blum’s career has taken him from coast to coast, from A Chorus Line to The Golden Girls and afforded him the opportunity to pal around with a jaw-dropping list of superstars and icons of music, stage and film that will make your head spin. Blum muses about his past with such affection. He shares stories about private yard sales where Cher and Michelle Pfeiffer are in attendance. He speaks about how bathhouses are transformed into speakeasies in the wee small hours of any given night. He suggests that he has had more leading ladies on his arm than Brad Pitt and Colin Ferrel combined. And we believe him.
Even though Blum’s star never breached the Earth’s atmosphere like some, he seems to have always counted himself lucky to be among the stars of Hollywood. Moreover, it seems that he never let being Gay get in the way of being gay, despite the random, deftly understated adversities peppered throughout his career.
Larry Blum does not put on a character; he is one. This piece is written with heart and wit and is, in some places, deceptively rapid-fire. It will make you chuckle and blush and think. Perhaps what I found to be most smart and savvy – the thing that kills other one-man shows - is that Blum knows exactly when to say “scene”.
“That’s me there in the back,” Larry declares, using a laser pointer while a clip of a Barry Manilow Special plays on the video monitor.
When a period piece hits the stage or screen, it’s usually the costumes that receive the highest accolades, because aside from the acting, the costumes as crucial in creating the environment to sell the tale. Costumes add texture. In a Peter Jackson film, the seamless blend of visual effects and live action again, helps sell the reality of the story as well as ups the entertainment ante. But rarely do audiences notice every character in the frame or on stage. Each performer within view is helping tell that story, adding to the realism, giving the tale texture.
Blum’s BLINK reflects on his life and career as one of those entertainers that are the texture in entertainment. Blum is one of the nameless thousands that make entertainment richer, fuller for audiences at large. One could only hope to have a life such as Blum that is largely “invisible” yet so filled with textures.
BLINK & You Might Miss Me is running now through February 6, 2011 at:
1078 Lillian Way
(Santa Monica Blvd & Lillian Way)
Hollywood, CA 90038
Thursdays – Saturdays at 8pm,
Sundays at 3pm
Reservations: (323) 960-7612