CONCEALING JUDY HOLLIDAY: 76% – SWEET

Wendy Johnson in “Concealing Judy Holliday” at Pacific Resident Theatre. Credit: Company.

BITTER
I was hoping for more of a story about Judy Holliday, who I thought was a fine actress and who, unfortunately, passed away at a very young age. The dreams did not really offer me a clear insight into this young woman nor cause me to have any feelings for her as a person. I didn’t see the character on stage as really being Judy Holliday. There must have been more to her than was shown by these strange dreams.
Carol Kaufman Segal – Reviewplays

SWEET
But now that I have received the benefit of Wendy Johnson’s fine writing and performance, under Guillermo Cienfuegos’s inspired direction, I care a lot about both this production and this company. As this is the fourth show of Pacific Resident Theatre’s 25th Anniversary season, one may say that, not for the first time, I have come late to the good party.
Jason Rohrer – Stage and Cinema

SWEET
But it is in the casting that this play rises to its highest-possible level: starting with Wendy Johnson herself as Judy Holliday, with varied levels of her emotional involvement with Ms. Holliday’s life startlingly true and funny when needed: she gets Ms. Holliday’s giggle and voice patterns, along with big eyes which reflect the action amazingly.
Dale Reynolds – Stagehappenings

BITTERSWEET
Johnson, with her Lucille Ball looks and chirpy timbre, sounds just like Holliday and plays her with wide-eyed innocence. Director Guillermo Cienfuegos innovatively stages the action, but the story drags toward the end, as her death is drawn out, and overall lacks the weight of tragedy.
Mayank Keshaviah – LA Weekly

SWEET
There’s a lot of laughter here in the face of tragedy, and a sour reminder that hurt can come with- out cause or concern. And, surpris- ingly, a lot of fun in the face of pos- sible tragedy…more than real in the final death of the promising young woman, who no longer had the strength to withstand her mental and physical trials.
Madeleine Shaner – Park La Brea News/Beverly Press (opens in jpg)

SWEET
It’s an engaging journey, with Holliday facing the fact that the Oscar-winning success of her “dumb blonde” character from Born Yesterday had more or less committed her to playing a variation on that role even when she was testifying before a congressional Red-hunting committee.
Don Shirley – LA Stage Times

SWEET
El pequeño teatro, la caja negra o la escena de bolsillo son fascinantes por la proximidad entre actores y espectadores que se encuentran y casi se rozan en la sala oscura, pero es arriesgado porque se ven mucho las costuras. Marilyn Fox sale airosa como la madre y como Laurette Taylor, una de las inspiraciones de Judy, la legendaria Amanda Winsfield. Wendy Johnson también, porque no pretende convencernos de un parecido, sino redescubrirla.
Rosa Ileana Boudet – Lanzar la flecha bien lejos

CONCEALING JUDY HOLLIDAY
Pacific Resident Theatre
705 1/2 Venice Blvd., Venice
Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 PM, Sundays at 3 PM; EXTENDED THROUGH JULY 29, 2012.
Tickets: (310) 822-8392.

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