An Evening with Betsy O’Connell spoofs the perennial one-woman show about a diva whose ego is larger than her career and is compelled to share the wisdom acquired over the decades as a marginal star of commercials and minor film roles.
While bawdily recounting her 60-year career as a child actress, star of Japanese beer commercials, voice-overs and as an almost-memorable character actor, O’Connell dishes about her many lovers and her long life as an “almost” star. For each missed opportunity or disappointment she assures us she will always “bounce back…like a boomerang.”
It is a daunting task to single-handedly hold an audience’s attention for the duration of a full length play. To do so while generating nearly constant laughter defies belief.
Completely fictional, and yet ringing hilariously true, Betsy is a gem of a play. Ira Heffler’s ironic writing reveals a deep knowledge of how Hollywood works – and doesn’t. Heffler co-directs and co-produces with long-time collaborator and musical director, Bob Wayne. They keep the tempo light and lively.
Betsy is played by virtuoso Rosanne Limeres. Her sense of timing in her line delivery, singing and her physicality, borders on genius.
Firing on all cylinders, Betsy’s writing, directing and acting coalesce beautifully to make the elusive alchemy of comedy look easy.
“An Evening with Betsy O’Connell” is staged through November 27th at the Lankershim Arts Center located at 5108 Lankershim Blvd. in North Hollywood. Tickets can be purchased at Betsy.BrownPaperTickets.com.
Note: this review appeared originally in the Tolucan Times on November 10th, 2016.