Sunday, June 19, 2011

Finding Elizabeth Taylor

Elizabeth Taylor
as Elizabeth Taylor

The one-woman show Finding Elizabeth Taylor started late today because of technical difficulties. At one point, the star and playwright, Elizabeth Taylor, came out and chatted with the audience. She took questions, and she was charming and funny. Unfortunately, she was less interesting during the actual show.

Finding Elizabeth Taylor is a series of scenes about this Elizabeth Taylor's life. Sometimes Taylor plays herself, sometimes other people, and sometimes the world-famous Elizabeth Taylor. The scenes are separated by screens moving across stage, leaving various props and furniture as they go. The screens soon become annoying and give a staccato feel to the show.

Taylor is a good actress and a good writer, but the show doesn't coalesce. The charming person who took questions isn't there, and the show wanders from theme to theme (individuality, dealing with ridicule, weight issues, activism) without adding up to a cohesive whole. I admire Taylor's energy and skills, and I appreciate that she works so hard to show rather than tell. However, some narration might give the show a much-needed spine. As it is, Finding Elizabeth Taylor is too scattershot to be the show that it might be.

(press ticket, fourth row)


Anonymous said...

Is "Elizabeth Taylor" the actual name of the writer? Is that why she wrote the play? Or does she just call herself "Elizabeth Taylor"?

Wendy Caster said...

It's her actual name. Her folks thought that the famous Taylor's fame was on the wan and figured it was safe to give their daughter that name.