With the distinction of being voted D.C.'s best parade by readers of Washington City Paper this year and last -- even edging out the 2009 Inauguration Parade, which took second place -- the Capital Pride Parade is obviously a beloved institution. Marking its 28th year, the parade scontinue its steps in the right direction with Valerie Harper of Rhoda fame, currently in town channeling Tallulah Bankhead in LOOPED serving as grand marshal. The parade stepped off at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 13.
Arena Stage in association with Tony Cacciotti and David Steiner presents LOOPED starring four-time Emmy Award winner Valerie Harper (Rhoda, The Mary Tyler Moore Show) at the Lincoln Theatre. Created by Matthew Lombardo (writer of the hit play Tea at Five) and directed by Rob Ruggiero (director of Arena Stage's Ella) Looped tells the story of original celebrity bad girl Tallulah Bankhead. When Tallulah is called into a sound studio to "loop" one line of dialogue for her final film, Die, Die My Darling, what ensues is a side-splitting showdown between her uptight film editor, played by Broadway veteran Jay Goede (A Year With Frog and Toad, Angels in America), and the outrageous legend in a hilarious match of wits. Looped runs May 29-June 28, 2009 at Arena Stage at the Lincoln Theatre.
Southern, but by no means a belle, Bankhead was known for her wild partying that outshone even today's superstars, including innumerable affairs with both male and female celebrities and outlandish exploits. During Looped's summer 2008 premiere at Pasadena Playhouse and recently at Cuillo Centre for the Arts, critics and audiences agreed that Looped fully captured the sultry-voiced stage and film star in what Daily Variety called "outrageous fun." The Los Angeles Times agreed that in Looped "entertainment value is guaranteed...Valerie Harper brings Tallulah Bankhead's outrageousness and glamour to life," and the Hollywood Reporter penned, "Harper is
a revelation in Matthew Lombardo's riveting new play!" Since the Cuillo Centre run, Lombardo has continued to rework the script for the Arena production. In response to working on Looped Ruggiero adds, "It has been an extraordinary experience working with both Valerie and Matthew. They are both valued collaborators and also great friends, and the show has grown tremendously since its initial success in Pasadena due to our great working relationship."
Photos by Walter McBride/Retna Ltd.