Seeing Stars at So Help Me God!

PlayBlog   Seeing Stars at So Help Me God!
Kristen Johnston does anything but blend into the scenery in her current Off-Broadway turn as the ultimate stage diva Lily Darnley in So Help Me God! However, the actress does make an appearance as part of the scenery.

Audiences at the Mint Theatre Company's revival of the Maurine Dallas Watkins comedy are treated to a collage of starry eyes that form a façade on the proscenium of the Lucille Lortel Theatre stage. The famous female stars represented range from names like Mae West, Gloria Swanson, Jean Harlow, Hedy Lamarr, Joan Crawford, Greta Garbo and Veronica Lake to more recent divas including Kim Basinger, Salma Hayek, Madonna and Rene Russo.

Scenic designer Bill Clarke revealed to, "I thought a collage of mostly anonymous 1920s vamps' and flappers' faces would be the main way to communicate the period." The idea was actually nixed, but then revisited ("Quite close to our first preview actually!" said Clarke) with a new twist to reflect director Jonathan Bank's feelings about the play — "that it's not a quaint period piece, but is about a particularly American quest for stardom. So I sought images of famous female (mostly) American stars, and broadened the time-span to go from early silents up to the present — with bonus points given to divas known for sultriness and sex appeal!"

For those playing a game of "Who's Who" before the show or during intermission, here's a cheat sheet of the design (click the image below to view larger): (*Note #32)

[caption id="attachment_3114" align="aligncenter" width="361" caption="The So Help Me God! façade"]The <I>So Help Me God!</I> façade[/caption]

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