Only one play to tell you about this time, but fear not…

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I’ve got plenty to say… as always. They don’t call me “Chatty Patty” for nothin’!

Tea at Five

Cissy Conner as Katharine Hepburn in “Tea at Five.”

The multi-talented, infectiously loveable Cissy Conner is back… in this triumphantly entertaining play. A master of “one-woman” shows, I first fell under her magical spell in 2003, in her sultry/ sexy Ovation Award-winning musical production of “An Evening with Marlene Dietrich.” In 2005, I was again “wowed” by her solo depiction in “Plane Crazy.” Playing a flight attendant (which she actually was for many years), and numerous quirky passengers… she was delightfully impressive! A chamel-eon-like performer, she has an undeniable gift for transforming her persona, believably and compellingly, and the result is always a wonder to behold. Audiences love her! Generally not a fan of “solo” plays, I will always jump at the chance to catch hers. This time, she captures the essence, humor, witty cynicism, heart, and innermost thoughts of the late, great Katharine Hepburn. Written by Matthew Lombardo, this revealing telling has been performed in California by Stephanie Zimbalist and Kate Mulgrew in the past. Lombardo’s currently-running hit Broadway solo show, “Looped,” starring Valerie Harper, continues his legacy. Self-directed, Cissy’s transformation to Kate at age 31, while funny, informative, and interesting in Act One, slightly lacks the total “likeness” to Hepburn that I anticipated for some reason. Then when the curtain goes up in Act Two, a Parkinson’s-afflicted Katharine Hepburn at age 76 comes to life… and brilliance transpires!! Gutsy and heartbreaking in turns, she shares personal stories of her beloved and complicated family, her famous friends, her “roller coaster” career, and her legendary 27-year romance with the married Spencer Tracy. The audience was captivated! On the wonderfully homey and realistic set of Scott Umpress, Kate bears her soul, insecurities, and recollections… as the story of her life unfolds. This is a spirited, meaningful, and nostalgic ride, and still another memorable solo performance by the remarkable Cissy Conner that earned her a rousing standing ovation on opening night. Do catch this intimate and heart-touching production! Playing through May 2 at the Whitmore-Lindley Theatre Center at 11006 Magnolia Blvd. in NoHo. Call 800-838-3006 for seats.

Mark your calendar!

Theatre West has two highly anticipated productions opening in April, running in repertory.

“Acting: The First Six Lessons” Opens April 9th. The highly regarded Beau Bridges and his daughter Emily join forces, hearts, and talent here, in this famous play written in 1933 by Richard Bole-slavsky. As an experienced older actor coaches a hopeful young actress early in her career, many life lessons are learned in the process. This one will likely draw big audiences, so you’d be wise to book your seats ahead of time. Following each performance, the pair will offer brief Q&A sessions with the audience. I, for one… look forward to this exciting theatrical experience!

“The Life and Times of A. Einstein.” Opening April 10th and running in rep with the aforementioned play. Written and performed by Kres Mersky, this informative and “offbeat” comedy plays out on Einstein’s birthday at a Princeton press conference in 1934. Though we never actually meet Einstein, we learn much about him and his extraordinary life, from Ellen, his “right hand gal” and secret admirer. Sounds intriguing! For early booking to see either or both of these offerings, call 323-851-7977.

Burbank’s Magnolia Park area is buzzing with eclectic energy! Having owned and run “Hubba Hubba” (my vintage clothing store on Magnolia) for 25 years, I’ve seen dozens of collectible shops come and go! Though a few longtime “favorite haunts” remain… more have disappeared, for a variety of reasons. Recently becoming the “Valleyside” version of Melrose Ave. in Hollywood… trendy types are actually driving over the hill to catch the bargains and “one-of-a-kind” treasures in antiques and vintage clothing that Burbank has to offer. On my block alone, there’s my shop (1930s through ’60s vintage attire for both guys and dolls), Kim’s “Magnolia Gowns” (1970s through ’90s women’s clothing and accessories) and Carrie’s “Swift.” (Two shops – the original is now a fab new shoes n’ purse space – and her recently moved ladies vintage collection of period pieces is now right next door to me…) For you “thrift store junkies,” the bustling “American Way” thrift is on the corner. Just west of us there are a few very nice consignment stores too. Laree’s “Best of Times” and Sandra’s “Victorian Rose” are jammed with a variety of great antique finds, and Seabrook’s long open “Junk For Joy” (’30s through ’90s) is a funky and popular costume spot! We are all very excited to welcome Wanda, the charming owner of “Playclothes,” to the neighborhood in April. Having been a “hot spot” in the Tijunga/Moorpark area for years, selling gorgeous men’s and women’s clothing and antique furniture pieces, she is now joining our local “family” at 3100 Magnolia, in a huge and beautiful store. Though it’s impossible to name every unique resale shop in the space I have to write, know this… there are a ton of “cool” stores thriving here! Plan a full day of it… and check us out! You’re likely to spot a celebrity face or two, and will mix with countless TV/film wardrobe stylists!

See you next week…

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