A frivolous and fun trip back into the past, Lavender Love is now playing at the Macha Theatre in West Hollywood.
Review by Pauline Adamek
Written by Odalys Nanin (founder of Macha Theatre/Films), and co-directed by Ilmar Taska and Odalys Nanin, Lavender Love is a love-letter to the Jazz age of Hollywood; the glorious and glamorous 1920s.
Making its world premiere, Nanin”™s play focuses on the history of gay celebrities who entered into “lavender marriages” – phony heterosexual relationships designed to serve as a publicity smoke screen to obscure their homosexuality for the film studio executives, their fans and the world at large.
It”™s New Year”™s Eve, 2011. Pretty Alas (Lidia Ryan) is heartbroken. She”™s lamenting a recent ugly argument and consequential breakup with her sexy girlfriend Evie (Michelle Bernard).
We meet Alas at the corner of Sunset Blvd. and Crescent Heights Blvd. where today there is a McDonald”™s Restaurant that was infamously built on the location where a Hollywood landmark once stood – the famed Garden Of Allah Hotel, home to Hollywood royalty.
As the earth trembles with a quake, Alas is magically transported back to Hollywood of the 1920s, and she emerges at the original Garden Of Allah estate. There she meets some colorful characters, including Rudolph Valentino (Kristian Steel) and his lover, Paul Ivano (Drew Hinckley). She also meets the mansion owner, a formidable and powerful movie star/psychic Madame Nazimova (Odalys Nanin) and her lover Natasha Rambova (Stephanie Ann Saunders), the former who gives Alas some life-changing advice.
She learns that the four pursue “˜lavender love”™ and are contemplating arranged marriages so that they can better conduct their gay romances without consequence. How any of this has a bearing on poor Alas and her romance woes is unclear”¦ Is it even possible for Alas to find her way back to her own time? Earthquakes, tsunamis and the approaching end of the Mayan calendar all figure into her predicament.
CONSUMER ADVISORY: Adult content. Partial nudity.
1107 N. Kings Road
West Hollywood 90069
Runs until June 11, 2011
Fri. & Sat. at 8pm,
Sun. at 7pm.
Dark May 27- May 29 (Memorial Day Weekend).
Approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes, no intermission
Purchase tickets here or call (323) 960-4429
Odalys Nanin is the Producing Artistic Director of Macha Theatre/Films. She received the Maverick Award from the Los Angeles Women”™s Theatre Festival in 2010. The Cuban-American playwright, actor, producer and director establishedÂ a prominent business and artistic presence in the City of West Hollywood when she took over the aging landmark Globe Playhouse, refurbished it, and transformed it into the Macha Theatre. She has appeared in over 30 stage productions in New York and Los Angeles. Her own plays include “Love Struck,” “Garbo”™s Cuban Lover,” “The Adventures of the Lieutenant/Nun,” “˜The Nun and the Countess,” “Skin of Honey,” and “Naked in the Tropics.” A leading voice in the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) community, she made the list of Out Magazine”™s Out 100, the men and women “who made 2007 a year to remember.”
“Lavender Love” is made possible in part through the support of the City of West Hollywood. Although some of the action of the play takes place in 1921, it couldn”™t be more topical. Then as now, there are some gay people who would rather be married”¦.to each other.