COLETTE Uncensored, starring Lorri Holt, directed by David Ford
Lorri Holt IS Colette! With her flawless French accent, Holt gives us an unforgettable depiction of this remarkable actress, mime, author, and raconteuse. Anyone seeing her solo performance who is unfamiliar with Colette will want to read her books, see movies and plays adapted from them, and read everything ever written by and or about her. Despite living as a young woman in the 19th and early 20th century, she was way, way ahead of her time politically, culturally, sexually, and socially. She erased the line between male and female behavior especially regarding sexual partners which Ms. Holt, as Colette, casually yet graphically relates. She speaks of learning life lessons from her mother. Holt re-enacts this scene, portraying her mother standing behind a chair (her only prop), as she mimes braiding her daughter’s long, long hair while talking to her about everything before sending her off to school.
Ms. Holt was made up to look like Colette, especially her hair style, based on early films and photos of her and her work. She addresses the audience directly, even questioning individual members, who, at the show I attended, appeared too shocked or stunned to reply; and if they did, were almost inaudible. If a reply is slow, she simply moves on. Taking short breaks for sips of water between anecdotes, in a little over an hour, Ms. Holt vibrantly presents Colette’s gifts for story telling, social commentary and humor; about her affairs, marriage, her estranged daughter, her careers as an author, mime, and actor.
Lorri Holt’s three-decades work on Bay Area stages includes Berkeley Rep, ACT, the Aurora, The Magic, SF Playhouse and more. She has also performed in plays by noted playwrights as Sam Shepard, Tony Kushner, Josh Kornbluth, and more, internationally.
According to program notes, the show evolved from readings of a newly published collection of Colette’s writings, “Shipwrecked on a Traffic Island and Other Previously Untranslated Gems,” translated by Zack Rogow and Renee Morel. Presented at The Marsh in March, “Colette Uncensored,” was restaged due to popular demand and will run through June 25. Fridays at 8PM and Saturdays at 8:30PM
At the Marsh, 1082 Valencia, SF. BART, Muni.