Poetic Pearls in An Evening with Dottie
Nora Ephron once wrote that when she was young, all she wanted to do “in this world was come toNew Yorkand be Dorothy Parker.”
So timely, the LunaBlue Theater Group presents An Evening with Dottie — Staged Works by Dorothy Parker at theNoHoArtsCenter. A feminist, poet, and prolific writer, so bold for her day, Dorothy Parker’s works of art and witticisms speak for themselves, and come to life on stage, for all to appreciate and absorb.
Her characteristic, metaphoric wit and satire on writing and love are reflected in her pithy, insightful monologues: “Here I am, chained to this desk … if I had money and didn’t work, I’d be a peach.” The play opens, with an incredibly talented tap dancer, a roaring ‘20s flapper, setting the tone, and visually enticing the audience into the world of Dorothy Parker. The first thing we notice is a typical writer’s boudoir, papers littered throughout the room.
Ernie Silva, as The Host, offers a poem/soliloquy introducing Dorothy (the divine Alexis Nichols) with her back to the stage, a very alluring touch. Almost as soon as she enters the scene, she feels impelled to write something at her desk, yet it seems that someone has stolen her beloved pencil. She bemoans the fact, in a convincingly trueNew Yorkparlor accent, that a writer without her pencil — the most mundane of horrors — is like a deer lost in the woods, a fish out of water. The theme of the entire play is revealing that a writer does not have as charmed a life that might appear; if you look at the lives of all the great writers, from F. Scott Fitzgerald to Hemingway, you find how they were prisoners to their surroundings.
Meanwhile, almost as a male alter-ego to Parker, a figure emerges from his bed (“He,” played by Alain Mora). “He” is haunted by nightmarish dreams and quotes, “Early to bed … you wish you were dead.” Out of his mouth come poetic pearls and delusional diatribes, as he goes on a rant about the illustrious poets and artists: Verlaine and Rimbaud. He quotes the English poet, Thomas Carlyle, a great inspiration on Dorothy Parker, with the mantra, “produce, produce, produce.”
The play is an existential description of the absurdity of life. It is indeed a wonderful tribute to the brilliant soul of Dorothy Parker, whose legacy lives on. At show’s end, The Host mentions her ode to “The Perfect Rose,” asking the proverbial question, “Why couldn’t it have been the perfect limousine?”
The NoHoArtsCenteris located at 11136 Magnolia Blvd.in North Hollywood. For tickets, call (818) 859-4604 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.