On the Fringe
BY Mike Diamond
August 22 2008 12:00 AM ET
flocked to "See How Beautiful I Am: The Return of Jackie
Susann", a one-woman show about the scandalous
author of the legendary trashy novel Valley of the
Dolls. In this production West End stage star
Debra Weston (right) portrays the deliciously
irreverent author (she of the black French poodle and
false eyelashes) as she reminisces about her life from
a hospital room in New York City (Susann died of
breast cancer in 1974).
All the major
elements of Susann’s dishy story are touched upon,
and Weston plays them to the hilt: Jackie’s
upbringing as a plain girl with a daddy complex; her
early career as a stage actress; her swinging ’60s
roller coaster of parties, pills, and sex. This literary
diva lived the lifestyle she wrote about and immersed
herself in that glittery glam world, reveling in her
bisexuality and A-list celebrity status. Weston, a
cat-eyed beauty, was riveting onstage, tackling the ribald
humor and aching pathos with steeliness as well as a
charming grace and confidence.
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