Pitch Blond – Toronto Fringe 2011 Press Release

From press release:

Katie and Pearl Productions Presents Pitch Blond.

2007’s Critic’s Choice Award for Best Fringe Production Victoria, BCFringe to the 2011 Toronto Fringe Festival.

“Five Stars – [Judy Holliday’s performance before the McCarthy’s inquisitors],might have been the performance of a lifetime. You can say the same thing forToronto-based actress-playwright Laura Anne Harris. ” – Winnipeg Free Press

Toronto, June 1st, 2011 – Laura Harris’ critically acclaimed one-woman tribute to thelife of Academy and Tony Award winning actress Judy Holliday finally comes to the2011 Toronto Fringe Festival after great success at the Victoria Uno Festival, theEdmonton International Fringe Festival, the Winnipeg Fringe Festival and the VancouverChutzpah Festival. Harris, wrote and stares as the magnetic comedic actress BillyHolliday, who had a genius-level I.Q but was notorious for playing comedic dumb blondcharacters. During the McCarthy era, Holliday was suspected of having Communist ties.In order to protect her friend and family, she testified before the Senate Internal SecuritySubcommittee playing her dumb blond persona.

This play offers a historical interpretation of Holliday’s appearance before the SenateInternal Security Subcommittee, incorporating flashbacks of her life as she responds toquestions. Pitch Blond is directed by Judith McDowell, (artistic director of TargetTheatre), and features Bill Miller, (Actor, in Spin! 2010 Victoria Fringe Festival) as thevoice of the main prosecutor and Jason Stevens, (Victoria voiceover actor,) as variousother voiceovers.

This play is a tribute to Holliday’s strength of character and a revelation of severalunknown aspects of her life. These revelations include witnessing her mother’sattempted suicide, her relationship with another woman and initial dislike for acting as a profession.

Five Stars -“Pitch Blond is a palimpsest scraping away the grease paint givingus a done-wrong dame. I hope Senator Joe is roasting in hell. This is the firstplay that uses YouTube’s massive archive to re-create the Golden Age of radioand cinema. Using authentic sound and recorded enactments blended with liveperformance, the show takes you back and aback. Mothers, bring yourdaughters. Men, polish your funny bones. See this show. I’m an atheist. I don’tthink Judy Holliday, who died so young, so sadly, is alive anywhere other than ontape and screen. But, if I might be presumptuous and sentimental at the sametime, I dearly wish to thank the oh so dear Laura Anne Harris with all my heart forbringing J.H. – all of her – back to life and sharing this great labour of love withus. Thank you, darling.” – Winnipeg CBC

Five Stars -“Harris sparkles at Holliday,” Victoria’s Times Colonist.

Four Stars – Victoria’s, MondayMagazine

“Laura Anne Harris is brilliant in Pitch Blond,” Vancouver’s, Rifting RiftsMagazine.

“Harris makes smooth transitions from character to character and scene to scene, and she adopts Holliday’s high-pitched, New York dialect veryconvincingly. I particularly like the use of historical audio clips in the production,and the emotional journeys throughout the piece,” Calgary’s, FFWD magazine.

“Pitch blond is an absorbing one-woman show,” The Orlando Sentinel.

“Harris portrays Holliday with an advance sense of irony,” The Ottawa Citizen.

“Harris is an excellent actor and reacts brilliantly and beautifully to unseen stimulionstage, creating a compelling characterization for the audience. The linebetween character and performer is blurred, and the audience’s sympathies arewon,” Edmonton’s, Vue Weekly.