Banno’s Porno Pygmalion: Award-winning director back in town for “Adult Entertainment”

Joe Banno

by Christopher Henley
for DC Theatre Scene

Elaine May’s play Adult Entertainment, currently in previews in a production by The Klunch, “is pretty delightful. It’s kind of a porno Pygmalion sort of play, in terms of porn stars suddenly getting an education, and figuring out what their lives should mean. There’s a lot of nice layers to it, but, more than anything else, it’s tremendously funny.”

Over a late lunch recently at Annie’s Paramount Steak House, Joe Banno (who, it must be noted, I’ve worked with for over thirty years, and have known forever) was talking to me about the project that has brought him back to town.

The Helen Hayes Award-winning director and former Artistic Director of Source Theatre Company now calls the City of Angels home.

I began our conversation by asking him to introduce our younger readers to playwright Elaine May, who may not be as familiar to generations younger than ours.

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An Interview with actor Lisa Hodsoll

Lisa Hodsoll as Laura Bush, photo by Chelsea Bland

In The Klunch’s newest comedy, Laura Bush Killed a Guy, written by Artistic Director Ian Allen, Lisa Hodsoll plays former First Lady Laura Bush as she recounts the incident, as the title suggests, when she killed a guy. In 1963, 17 year-old Laura blew through a stop sign in Midland, Texas, killing classmate Michael Dutton Douglas.  There has been much speculation about the events surrounding the accident. In Ian’s funny and irreverent one-woman show, Laura confronts these conspiracies and ruminates on her life experiences: before, during, and after the White House.

Sarah Scafidi talks with actress Lisa Hodsoll about her process and preparation for the role… Read More

Some “Laura” love from the Washington Post

“A tragic story from the former first lady’s teenage days – when she was involved in a car accident in which a friend of hers died – has taken on a life of its own, getting passed around gossip websites and mentioned on “Family Guy” while earning its own Snopes entry. Director John Vreeke takes that tale to another level in this one-woman show, starring Lisa Hodsoll as the title character. The play takes a satirical spin through the former Laura Welch’s early days to what the theater collective The Klunch describes as “a surprising re-examination of the Bush years.” –John Taylor