Bette is back! The Dallas/Fort Worth tour of Camilla Carr’s award-winning play, starring Morgana Shaw and directed by Ryan Matthieu Smith, continues. “Bette” will run two nights only, at 8 p.m. August 11-12, at Stage West in Fort Worth. Following the Stage West presentation, “All About Bette” moves to the Stone Cottage Theatre in Addison. The performances will be August 18, 19, 25 and 26 at 8 p.m.
Television’s fabulous FEUD: Bette and Joan is an open invitation to watch the play as Ms. Carr’s dazzling script delivers the complete Bette Davis in ALL ABOUT BETTE. The Bette Davis who owned cinema for six decades, receiving two Oscars, 11 Oscar nominations, and a worldwide collection of 62 nominations, awards and honorary distinctions. ALL ABOUT BETTE was the hit of the Spoleto Festival in Charleston, SC (both actress and play) and internationally, at Bogata’s Iberoamericano de Teatro, (the largest theatre festival in the world) where it received both Best Performance and Play Awards out of 200 plays and 50 countries.
Shaw’s performance as “Bette” has left audiences breathless. “It’s an honor to play this legendary icon, to bring her to life and share the complete person with the world,” said Ms. Shaw. When asked what she likes most about Ms. Carr’s script, she emphatically said, “Looking into Bette’s heart. She was a strong woman, but the documentaries rarely show you the love she had for her family.”
“Dallas Voice” reviewer Arnold Wayne Jones said, “…you’d bet the farm that it’s Bette Davis come back to life. But actually, it’s better. We get Morgana Shaw, massaging, interpreting, embodying, modulating the notoriously prickly, and just as famously brilliant, Warner Bros. actress.”
“Art & Seek” reviewer Gail Sachson said, “Morgana is equally believable as Bette, young and old. She swings her arms, swirls her body and clicks her heels across the stage. She owns the stage and fills the space. Morgana is never out of character, regardless who that character is.”
In her review for TheaterJones.com, Martha Heimberg said, “Directed with dramatic pacing by Ryan Matthieu Smith, the evening crackles with the sardonic humor and unapologetic ambition of its star.”
Broadway World reviewer Kyle Christopher West proclaimed, “Morgana Shaw succeeds in the uphill battle of captivating a crowd without another actor on stage.”
Carr’s expansive and captivating script explores Bette’s drive, commitment, obligations, altercations, opinions, loves, fears, successes and heartbreaks.
“As an adaptor, it was deciding what not to use of the vast material available about Bette Davis,” Carr said. “Then, determining the structure, which is sort of Shakespearean in that it often switches from horror to hilarious in a heartbeat. All entwined with an unravelling narrative thrust which culminates in what I hope is an unexpected and exhilarating ending.”
This tour is produced by seven-time Tony Award-winning producer, Michael Jenkins’ Starlight Entertainment (producer of both the Spoleto and Bogata productions). The tour is produced in collaboration with Ken Orman’s Dovetayle Productions, LLC and Ryan Matthieu Smith’s Giant Entertainment.
“We have our Bette Davis eyes on touring the country,” said Michael Jenkins.
Tickets to “All About Bette” at Stage West Theatre, 521 Vickery Blvd. in Fort Worth, are $44 for Tier 1 and $38 for Tier 2. Tickets to “Bette” at Stone Cottage Theatre, 15650 Adison Road in Addison, are $52 general admission.