Me and Jezebel-An Engaging Play
By Doc Lawrence
STONE MOUNTAIN, GA-Once upon a time, the legendary and displaced Bette Davis was invited to a dinner party at the New England home of star-struck Elizabeth Fuller where she stayed…and stayed…and stayed.
Based on a true story, Me and Jezebel is a candidly funny account of trying to please the irascible queen of Hollywood. It overflows with one-liners as saucy as Bette Davis. For those who recall with affection one of the dominant stars of the Silver Screen (I remain a fan), be very aware that this is not a play for tender ears. Written in 1992, Me and Jezebel, tells the story of Elizabeth Fuller (“me”) and Bette Davis (“Jezebel,” from her role in the film by that name). In 1985, Ms. Fuller had the opportunity to entertain Bette Davis for dinner at her Connecticut home. A life-long fan, Fuller shared a love of Ms. Davis with her grandmother. When Ms. Davis, who almost on cue could be nice or naughty, called to thank her, she asked if she could spend a night or two because of a New York City hotel strike. Ms. Fuller was thrilled to have her. To her husband’s dismay, the stay became thirty-two days of laughter, outrage and more than a few tender moments.
Elizabeth Fuller is an author of eight published nonfiction books. During Ms. Davis’ extended stay, she kept a journal chronicling the daily escapades of one of the most famous houseguests in history.
Googie Uterhardt, a seasoned Atlanta actor, does a first-rate job portraying Bette Davis. The attitude, dry wit, tone of voice, expressions, mannerisms and chain smoking (harmless props as are the pours of wine and booze) combine to provide authenticity. To the playwright’s credit, the script isn’t one-dimensional. Bette Davis vacillates between outrageousness and kindness, taking time to enjoy Fuller’s four-year-old son.
Aretta Baumgartner not only portrays Ms. Fuller with enthusiasm, but also her four-year-old son, her husband and a woman who stops by. Continuously on stage as she tells the story to the audience, she seamlessly slips from narration to acting, changing her voice for the different characters.
|Art Station by Jane Chu|
Thursdays – Saturdays at 8:00 p.m., & Sundays at 3:00 p.m. An additional, Wednesday morning matinee on May 11 at 10:30 has been added. Runs through May 15. Tickets: (770) 469-1105 or www.artstation.org.