Our lives are filled with little stories. Some are funny, scary, ironic, and even embarrassing, and we tell our stories for the amusement of our friends. And that’s what actress Adrienne Barbeau did with her stage appearance There Are Worse Things I Could Do, An Evening with Adrienne Barbeau, presented at the historic El Portal Theatre last weekend.
The show sprang from her bestselling memoir There Are Worse Things I Could Do, the song she sung when Barbeau originated the role of Rizzo on Broadway in Grease. From a comfortable chair on stage, Adrienne enthusiastically explained how she won her Grease role, and told a treasure trove of stories from her personal and eclectic professional life. Moderator Brian Christopher Williams kept the stories moving and prodding for more details when necessary.
The audience was treated like a gathering of friends in Adrienne’s home, and her words flowed with an unpolished honestly that was refreshing. It wasn’t a “performance,” it was a storytelling experience.
Barbeau’s litany of behind-the-scenes revelations included working with Bea Arthur on Maude (“She was a homebody,” nothing like the Maude character); her Broadway experiences; dating Burt Reynolds; earning her “Scream Queen” title; her children; and much more.
Sprinkled with fun film clips the night flew by, and questions from the audience at the end were the icing on Barbeau’s storybook cake.
The El Portal Theatre is located at 5269 Lankershim Blvd. in North Hollywood. For information on future shows visit ElPortalTheatre.com or call (818) 508-4200.