Jefferson Parish Performing Arts Society

Jefferson Parish Performing Arts Society

LOOPED Directed by Janet Shea Opens at Westwego Cultural Center

Thursday, November 9, 2023
Featuring Big Easy Award Winner Leslie Castay as Tallulah Bankhead

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“I’m the foe of moderation, the champion of excess.”-Tallulah Bankhead

“Only good girls keep diaries. Bad girls don’t have time.”-Tallulah Bankhead

“Nobody can be exactly like me. Sometimes even I have trouble doing it.” -Tallulah Bankhead

(October 26, 2023—Metairie, Louisiana)—Jefferson Performing Arts Society brings Looped, a three-person play about Hollywood’s original diva Tallulah Bankhead, to Westwego Cultural Center for an eight-performance run from November 9th through November 19th, 2023.

The play by Matthew Lombardo is based on a 1965 studio recording session in which an intoxicated Tallulah Bankhead required eight hours to dub a single line from her final movie Die! Die! My Darling! The 2008-2010 Broadway run of the play featured Valerie Harper as Tallulah. The local production features multiple Big Easy Award-winning Leslie Castay in the lead role.

Castay returned to her native New Orleans after a 20-plus-year career as a New York City-based actress. Locally she has garnered rave reviews with Le Petit (Grey Gardens, Merrily We Roll Along, Noises Off), Southern Rep (Next to Normal, Sweet Bird of Youth) Tulane Summer Lyric (Chicago, Company, Ragtime) and New Orleans Opera (Sweeney Todd). Leslie also works as a director, currently directing Young Frankenstein and recently the Big Easy award-winning Holiday Inn (2022) for JPAS. Film and TV credits include The Big Short, NCIS: New Orleans, Beautiful Creatures, Secrets of Sulphur Springs, Hulu Network’s Mike and as “Alicia Mayfair” on AMC’s Anne Rice’s Mayfair Witches.

Tallulah Bankhead appeared in over 30 Broadway productions throughout her career, including The Little Foxes (1939) and The Skin of Our Teeth (1942), both of which earned her the New York Drama Critics Circle Award.  In addition to her work on Broadway, Bankhead also appeared in several films, including Alfred Hitchock’s Lifeboat. She was known for her outrageous wit and husky voice, as well as for her drunken escapades, extravagant parties, bisexuality, and for making “dah-ling” a popular greeting.

“But,” according to JPAS show director Janet Shea, “there is so much more to discover about the great Tallullah. Only an intelligent, extremely gifted, seasoned, and versatile actress can successfully deliver her.  Valerie Harper did it in New York, and we are incredibly blessed to have the great Leslie Castay bring Tallulah to life on our stage.”

The three-person cast also includes Eric Lincoln as Danny, the film editor, and David Haydel as Steve, the sound engineer.  For more information on the cast, crew, show schedule and tickets, visit www.jpas.org. The performance takes place from Thursdays through Sundays November 9-19 at Westwego Cultural Center, 177 Sala Avenue, Westwego, LA.  For media interviews, photos, and other requests, email amy@jpas.org. To purchase tickets by phone contact the Jefferson Performing Arts Society box office at (504) 885-2000. PLEASE NOTE: THIS SHOW IS FOR MATURE AUDIENCES ONLY, DUE TO ITS STRONG LANGUAGE AND EXPLICIT SEXUAL REFERENCES.

Looped  Reviews:

…brings one of Hollywood’s most outrageous divas to life, magically spinning a simple anecdote into a fascinating character portrait using razor-sharp wit.” –inreview.com

…packs enough personality and revelatory clash of wills to fill nearly two hours with absorbing repartee…this dishy entertainment fulfills larger-than-life expectations with down-to-earth humanity.”  –www.dispatch.com

A cat-and-mouse marathon between Bankhead and the lamenting film editor forced to see the project through… a fascinating glimpse into Bankhead’s fading star appeal and increasingly chaotic private life.” –theatrematters.com