Dec. 1 to Dec. 16, Fri. & Sat. at 8 and Sun. at 3, at Midtown Art Center, 3414 LaBranch, corner of Holman. Door $20, seniors $15, students $10. Reservations at 832-894-1843 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Vivien Leigh was Blanche DuBois. Vivien Leigh was Scarlett O’Hara. Vivien Leigh was Lady Olivier. But who was she really?
Tyrrell Woolbert plays Vivien Leigh in a romantic comedy that explores her life on stage and onscreen, and charts the dynamic personal charisma that set hearts ablaze. With Jose Luiz Rivera as a devoted fan. Directed by the playwright.
Three themes dominated Vivien Leigh’s life, like the serpents twined around a caduceus. One serpent was her mental illness, bi-polar before the term was coined. The second was her voracious sexual appetite. These serpents coiled round the staff supporting her in her all-too-brief existence: her remarkable talent.
She starred with Marlon Brando in A Streetcar Named Desire, and won her first Oscar. She starred with Clark Gable in Gone with the Wind and won her second. She starred with Warren Beatty in The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone when he was 23 and she was “of a certain age” but alive with passion. At 49, she starred on Broadway in the musical comedy Tovarich, and won the Tony Award as Best Actress in a Musical. She died at only 53.
Elia Kazan said “Vivien would crawl over broken glass if she thought it would help her performance.” Tennessee Williams said her Blanche was “everything he intended, and much that he had never dreamed of.” As Scarlett O’Hara, Vivien created an indelible portrait of a woman gifted with beauty and driven by needs, a survivor in the midst of calamity. Much like Vivien Leigh herself.