Michael Taylor Gray, Therese McLaughlin, and C. Stephen Foster in ‘BitchSlap!’ Credit: Chris Hume.

Director Odalys Nanin has staged it with some cleverness but cannot overcome the problem of drag artistes overplaying their characters, which includes the sole female, Therese McLaughlin, as Hedda Hopper, one of the two major gossip columnists of the era. Michael Taylor Gray does a better job of finding the quiet reality of his Joan Crawford, but C. Stephen Foster is so OTT that what might be amusing (check out the late Charles Pierce or Charles Ludlam, or the current Charles Busch for better spot-on impersonations) is seriously tired by the end of the two hours. Yelling and being flamboyant is simply not enough to keep us tuned in.
Dale Reynolds – Stagehappenings

Director Odalys Nanin skillfully crafts a Hollywood history lesson into a humor-honeyed pleasure.
Mia Bonadonna – LAist

The clever, literate, well-researched script, by Canadian writer and drag artist Darrin Hagen, includes plenty of lethal one-line zingers, and it’s preceded by a hilarious film montage of Davis and Crawford delivering savage slaps, slugs, shots and kicks to their co-stars.
Neal Weaver – LA Weekly

This is a fun, fun, fun evening. Don’t expect Long Day’s Journey or Virginia Woolf, but one thing’s for certain: it may be just too, too much entertainment for one’s own good. So, be warned and for reading, a wholehearted … thaaank you!
Don Grigware – BroadwayWorld

Bitchslap! works in two ways: for newbies, it provides a capsule history of the careers of the two divas as their mutual dislike grew; for aficionados, it’s packed with the zingers they demand, delivered with relish by Gray and Foster. It’s breezily staged by director Odalys Nanin and is punctuated with projected film clips of the actual stars, highlighted – of course – by a riotous slapping montage.
Kurt Gardner – Blog Critics

O’migod! This is an outrageously hysterical, “laugh till you cry” production.
Pat Taylor – Tolucan Times

If we’re going to retrace familiar Hollywood history, there should be a twist or new point of view, neither of which is provided in this entertaining but ultimately derivative drag duel.
Christopher Cappiello – Frontiers

That is because this campy show about screen icons Bette Davis and Joan Crawford is a hoot and very well done.
Robert Machray – Stagehappenings

Macha Theatre
1107 N. Kings Road, W. Hlywd.
Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m.
(added perfs Sat., June 3 & 17, 3 p.m.; no perfs June 1 & 2)
Tickets: (323) 960-7724

Filed Under: FeaturedLemonMeter


LemonMeter About the Author: We don’t “review” shows here at the Lemon, rather we "review" reviews by gathering them from a variety of local review sites around the internet, judging them to be positive or negative, then forming an aggregate score that we call a LEMONMETER RATING, showing how well that show has been reviewed in total. For more detail on how the LemonMeter works visit here.

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