Claassen reviving one-woman show on Edith Head
She portrays the Oscar-winning fashion designer
By Kathleen Allen
ARIZONA DAILY STAR
Edith Head died in 1981.
Yet, the great Oscar-winning costume designer, lives.
Thank Invisible Theatre’s Susan Claassen for that.
She remounts her one-woman show, “A Conversation with Edith Head,” for a limited run next week.
Claassen first resurrected Head in 2002 with a script fashioned by Claassen; Paddy Calistro, co-author with the designer of “Edith Head’s Hollywood”; and Tucson director Carol Calkins.
Since then, it’s taken on a life of its own, drawing crowds at Scotland’s Fringe Festival, packing them in at a small theater in London’s West End and bringing it to adoring fans around this country.
Claassen was watching a television biography about Head when she realized her remarkable resemblance to the designer. A play was born.
It takes place a few weeks before Head’s death. As Claassen-as-Head paces the stage, hand on hip, eyes looking up and down as though assessing — and dismissing — what you’re wearing, she talks about her career. And what a career: For 44 years, Head designed costumes for 1,131 films, received 35 Academy Award nominations and won eight Oscars.She dressed such weighty stars as as Elizabeth Taylor, Bette Davis, Paul Newman and Grace Kelly.
Performances for the 90-minute “A Conversation With Edith Head” are 7:30 p.m Thursday, 8 p.m. next Friday and March 7, and 3 p.m. March 8 at Invisible Theatre, 1400 N. First Ave. Tickets are $25, with half-price tickets one-half hour before the show —if they are available. And we wouldn’t bet on that. Call 882-9721.