Recognized by movie and theatre audiences as the ditzy blond from Born Yesterday, Judy Holliday was an actress with a 170 IQ and a coterie of friends and co-workers with left-leaning political sensibilities. So when she was called to testify against suspected communists during the McCarthy-era witch hunts, Holliday smoothly evaded the horrifying prospect of naming names by playing the dumb-blond persona to the hilt.
It might have been the performance of a lifetime.
You can say the same thing for Toronto-based actress-playwright Laura Anne Harris. In her hour-long solo show, she has ample opportunity to exploit the more sensational components of Holliday’s life, including her secret lesbianism and her troubled relationship with her unstable mother.
Certainly, this drama touches those aspects of her life, but the emphasis is on the sheer heroism she demonstrated in playing the fool for politicians. And if Harris is physically thinner and more angular than her subject, she fleshes out Holliday with a deft reproduction of that high-pitched voice and a brilliant ability to interact with voice recordings. Call this pitch perfect.
— Randall King
From the official Fringe Festival guide:
Judy Holliday, Academy Award-winning actress from Born Yesterday, was notorious for playing dumb blonds, despite her genius level IQ. This act held her in good stead when she was questioned by Joseph McCarthy's inquisitors. Laura Anne Harris plays Judy Holliday, the dumb blond who outwits authority.
Winner 2007 Critic’s Choice Award for Best Fringe Production, Victoria, BC
Warnings: Subject Matter,
Son of Warehouse (Venue 5), to Saturday