Hollywould Review - Who's Who in Tinseltown

Fashion designer/playwright/director Octavio Carlin has done his homework in this new comedy, laden with the names of the famous and near-famous in 30's cinema. Pouty Greta Garbo (Genevieve Joy) just wants to be alone, while the Countess Rina De Liguoro (Christina Lemon), Italian silent film actress, wants a certain necklace worn by Elena of Montenegro, queen of Italy from 1900 to 1946.

 

Gerardo Ibarra, Genevieve Joy, Christina Lemon, Kat Brower, Elizabeth Ferraris - Photo by Teatro De La O

Enter Holly Wouldchester (Kat Brower), whose sister won a contest and has been promised a role in Garbo’s second talkie. Her sister’s fiancee has turned a definite thumbs down on acting; and Holly, a would-be actress with big plans, decides to take her sister’s place. After all, Martha and Holly are interchangeable anyway, aren’t they? With the help of Ramona Jones (Elizabeth Ferraris), an old friend who now works for the studio, she plans to pass herself off an Martha. And, by the way, Holly just happens to have a family necklace suspiciously resembling the Montenegro original from the days when her family was flush before “The Big Crash of ‘29.”

 

Genevieve Joy, Christina Lemon, Elizabeth Ferraris, Kat Brower - Photo by Teatro De La O

The farce specializes in overdressed females who overact to the point of insanity. Garbo swishes by with her delicate wrist to her pearly forehead, while the flamboyant Countess swirls her way across stage while dragging out every vowel in her vocabulary. Meanwhile, Ramona tries to shut Holly up and succeeds in being the only “normal” person on this stage. Name-dropping is de rigeur and includes Gary Cooper, Rod La Rocque, Lilyan Tashman, and Elsa Schiaparelli. After all, a fashion designer can’t resist a plug for a colleague. In fact, Octavio Carlin was selected as finalist in the 2011 Oscars Designer Challenge and has designed dresses for award-winning actresses, performers, and starlets. He is clearly talented in his chosen profession.

 

Genevieve Joy and Kat Brower - Photo by Teatro De La O

Ricardo Mora Hidalgo’s set is simple but effective, and Steven Pope’s lighting adds to the overall presentation. Some of the lines are sort of cute and elicit titters and chuckles from the audience. If you’re into something silly and senseless with absolutely no redeeming value, then HOLLYWOULD is for you.

 

Christina Lemon, Elizabeth Ferraris, Kat Brower - Photo by Teatro De La O

HOLLYWOULD runs through March 20, 2016, with performances at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and at 3 p.m. on Sundays. Hudson Backstage Theatre is located at 6539 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90038. Tickets are $34. For reservations, call 323-960-4443 or go online at www.plays411.com/hollywould.

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