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Collins and Evans Are the Draw of Legends!

By • Dec 1st, 2006 • Category: Reviews

Listen to our review of Legends!, currently playing at the National Theatre [MP3 6:22 1.8MB].

Laura: Earlier this week we saw the DC stop of the national tour of Legends!

Mike: Legends! is a comedy by James Kirkwood. It’s all about big stars, big egos. Joan Collins and Linda Evans star as two washed up Hollywood actresses who are trying to get a part in a Broadway play that’s also going to star Paul Newman. They get together for dinner before talking with the producer about the show and lots of stuff comes out and they get into it. It’s a big fight and some other people drop in who you’re not expecting. It’s a comedy and there is a lot going on focusing on the two women.

Laura: The show had it’s funny bits. There was some good physical comedy in it. However, I don’t think it it quite lived up to it’s name. The humor seemed a bit forced at times.

Mike: There were some genuinely funny bits in the show. But unfortunately there were a lot of some parts that just felt like you had seen before in tv shows and other movies. For example a stripper coming in part way through the show as not getting the word that the bridal shower had been cancelled. Things like that I know I’ve seen in other places. It didn’t feel real fresh. It felt a little dated.

Laura: The big draw was the two main actresses. Sylvia Glenn was played by Joan Collins. She was funny. She had some good quips and some good jibes at the other lead actress. Unfortunately I sometimes felt she was a little bit forced in trying to get the laugh out.

Mike: The role of Leatrice Monsee was played by Linda Evans. I really liked her character. She brought a lot to it. She had a rather touching scene where she talked about breast cancer. That came across really well. She also seemed to be a bit vulnerable. She seemed a bit scared at times. I really like how Linda Evans characterized Leatrice. It felt very real.—–Joan Collins played the witch. That’s how she had been type cast in all her movies. Linda Evans always played the good character. She had been typed cast as a “good person.” That kind of came out in their conversations and their fight and things like that. Where they were both mad at each other. It came out a couple times how they had sabotaged each other’s careers. Some of that was funny, but it just didn’t feel real genuine. Once you kind of got over that there were these two really well known really great actresses on stage, the material didn’t quite hold up.

Laura: One of the more entertaining cast members was the male stripper, Boom Boom Johnson, played by Will Holman. He was a lot of fun to watch. He had some really good moves. Obviously he took his clothes off. He was a lot of fun to watch because he really got into his part.

Mike: The apartment that Sylvia was using to try to persuade the producer that she was actually more well of than she really was, had a maid named Aretha. Aretha was played by Tonye Patano. She did a really good job. Sh did have some scenes that were borderline being insulted racially. She kind of laughed them off. Some of the jokes were kind of a little too sensitive for 2006, but the show was set in 1984 so it kind of worked ok. She waddled around the stage and swished and put the women in their places and had a good old time. She brought a lot of energy into the show.

Laura: The producer, Martin Klemmer, who was trying to get the two actresses together, was played by Joe Farrell. He was good. I enjoyed watching him. He had a lot of energy. He was getting pretty desperate in making promises he didn’t know how he was going to keep, but he would do just about anything to get the two of them together. I enjoyed watching the scene in the second act down at the subway station with him trying to juggle three phones and trying to keep straight as to who was on which phone. That was a lot of fun to watch.

Mike: And then the policeman was played by Ethan Matthews. He had a bit part in the second act. He was convincing as the innocent little rookie cop trying to take the trouble report down.

Laura: The set I really liked. It was very detailed. Very complicated in that they had the furniture in the apartment scene roll out onto the front of the stage. The scene down in the subway station. They had that looking very authentic.

Mike: One problem was a lot of the best action, you didn’t get to see. There was a great fight at the end of the first act between Sylvia Glenn and Leatrice Monsee. They ended up going out onto the balcony which was off stage. The first thing I thought was, “One of them is going over the side.” Instead they end up having a fight that you don’t get to see and when they come out, their wigs aren’t on anymore. If that had happened on stage it would have been hilarious. As an audience member you would be like,”Is that supposed to happen? are they supposed to take off their wigs?” They missed an opportunity there.—–The other action went really well. The producer Martin Klemmer, played by Joe Farrell, had a scene where he got a little stoned so he has some slapstick stuff he did. Boom Boom Johnson played by Will Holman. He had a lot of dancing over all the different parts of the set. Over on the couch, up on the piano. He did that really well. So there was a lot of physical action going on. It’s just a shame the two leading ladies couldn’t keep it all on the stage to do.

Laura: Legends! is playing through December 3rd at the National Theatre in Washington DC.

Mike: Laura and I had the opportunity to interview Will Holman who played Boom boom Johnson. So we will have that up on ShowBizRadio.net sometime on Saturday morning.

Laura: And now, on with the show.

This article can be linked to as: http://washingtondc.showbizradio.com/goto/1824.

started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike & Laura are each members of the American Theatre Critics Association, and Mike is a member of the Online News Association.

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