The road to success in Hollywood is fraught with obstacles, not the least of which is the infamous casting couch. Lisa Verlo’s one-woman show takes us on her journey from the Midwest to LaLa Land, exposing some of the creeps she meets along the way.
Hers is a story that, unfortunately, is all too common. Starry- eyed young people are easy targets for predators in power. The #MeToo movement has prompted people to speak out recently, but Lisa’s show was in development long before. Her original version, Sex Rated G, was performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2015.
Hollywoodn’t is directed by and developed with Jessica Lynn Johnson, with original songs by Lisa and Frank Simes. It is peppered with humor and clever use of video projections. Lisa introduces us to her first boyfriend, her famous lover (she names names!) a potential manager and a filmmaker. She speaks candidly about sex and her own sexuality. Although the subject of abuse is no laughing matter, Lisa’s use of body language (and “talking” body parts) keeps the audience enthralled.
She does raise some questions, however. At what point does one say no? Where is the differentiation between art and soft porn? What if you really do want to sleep with that gorgeous actor/director? And how will it affect your career if you do or do not succumb? Ultimately, like so many others, Lisa chose not to deal with the Hollywood B.S. and gave up her acting career at age 29. Until now…
Lisa Verlo’s “Hollywoodn’t” was on stage February 13 at Whitefire Theatre’s Solofest in Sherman Oaks.