Amanda Eliasch Play AS I LIKE IT
While after-parties aren’t unusual for a play’s Opening Night, it’s not often that a playwright invites the entire audience to her home after the cast takes its bows. But then, “As I Like It” had its U.S. premiere on New Year’s Eve.
Far more telling, the playwright is Amanda Eliasch, who also co-produced the autobiographical play, designed the costumes and provided her artwork for the set.
“I don’t mind having strangers at my house,” said Eliasch. “What will they do? Steal the silver? I did the same thing when the play opened in London. I prefer making people feel like family.”
And so, the party after the play’s Opening Night at the Macha Theater in West Hollywood mixed friends, family and audience members at Eliasch’s Beverly Hills home and culminated in a champagne toast to the new year. Among guests were television and film director Peter Medak, Belinda Carlisle of the Go-Go’s, art collector Kay Saatchi, Cindy Cowan, producer of the new film, “Red Lights;” Joel Lambert of “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen;” Stephen Kamifuji, creative editor of Genlux Magazine; photographer Jack English, Kathleen Rosenbloom, Linda and Filippo Puglisi-Alibrandi and Kathleen Sacchi.
From the cast came actors Elizabeth Karr, Charles Eliasch and Lisa Zane and director John Alan Simon, who also directed the 2012 film, “Radio Free Albemuth.”
An artist, poet, photographer and fashion editor, Eliasch lives in Great Britain, France and Los Angeles. Her photographs have been shown at the Black and White Gallery, Cork Street Gallery and Proud Gallery in London and her neon artworks have been exhibited at the Leadapron Gallery in Los Angeles. Her book of photographs, “British Artists at Work” was published by Assouline, and more of her photographs were incorporated into “Made by Indians” and “Made by Brazilians” published by the Enrico Navarra Gallery.
“My first love is writing, and I particularly like theater,” Eliasch said. “It feels alive to me. I like the drama behind the scenes, wondering if the actress will forget her lines. I like being on the edge of my seat. You don’t get that in cinema, which is all very accurate. Theater has to be done on real emotion, night after night.”
With a wave of fires taking place in Los Angeles, this play’s Opening Night had more than its share of surprises. Lead actress Karr had to cope with screaming sirens and helicopters so loud, they seemed to be inches overhead.
And Karr did so, in fact, easily and artfully by acknowledging the sounds, and then going on with her breezy nearly unbroken one-hour-plus monologue. In her role as “the woman,” Karr tells the story of Eliasch’s life, incorporating the author’s British upbringing, run-ins with schoolmates, parental relationships, two marriages and an affair with a married man.
Lisa Zane’s opera performances punctuate the monologue, while Charles Eliasch, the author’s son, accompanies Zane on the piano and joins her for an especially beautiful duet and a stylish tango.
The Amanda Eliasch play AS I LIKE IT first debuted at the Chelsea Theater in London. It will run in Los Angeles through Jan. 15 at the Macha Theater. Click here or call 323-969-1774 for ticket information.
Photos from top: Playwright Amanda Eliasch, left, with Belinda Carlisle of the Go’Gos (photo credit: Tiffany Rose); art collector Kay Saatchi, left, with actor Elizabeth Karr; Kathleen Sacchi with singer Lisa Zane.
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The Amanda Eliasch play AS I LIKE IT
Published Jan. 2, 2012 – Ellen Olivier, Society News LA