Tony Smithey and Stephanie Wyatt bring Betty Davis and Joan Crawford to the George Link, Jr Gilmer Arts Stage, Opening Oct. 8th.
By 1962, two of the silver screen's great leading ladies, Bette Davis and Joan Crawford, were has-beens. The women – both famed for playing strong independent characters, both with difficult personal lives and both a long way past 40 – had been replaced by a new breed of perky blonde stars. Then they got an unexpected opportunity: playing opposite each other in what was to become a cult classic, What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?
Still, bitching can be delicious when done with style. Here we have a delicate game of oneup-womanship, in which bared teeth are hidden behind dissembling smiles and barbed insults fly in both directions. "It's said she'd slept with everybody on the lot except Lassie," hisses Davis of her rival. There are plenty more like that; it is only a pity there is not more excavation of the emotional pain felt by these two icons, whose public success was matched by private disasters. But this kitsch play is not trying to be more than it is. ~ The Guardian
Set in the dressing rooms of Warner Brothers B film backlots, during the filming of “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane” in 1962, the play is played largely in adjoining dressing rooms, via interconnected monologue, as these actresses, with a reputation for being mortal enemies, talk about themselves, each other and the motion theatre industry.