- CHARITY BENEFIT
Written By Joel Benjamin
Julie Halston spent more than an hour trying to convince us that she has “gravitas,” that she has sadly been overlooked for serious roles in Stoppard, Shakespeare and Greek tragedies. All I can say is classical “theatah’s” loss is comedy’s gain. Halston is simply a great comic actress whose campy comedy gems sparkle with a sharp, but not mean spirited, wit.
She riffed on aging: “I now look like Paul Giamatti doing John Quincy Adams!” But, she added, one of the benefits of getting older is that you can say whatever you want—and she did. Speaking of senior citizens, Halston spoke lovingly, and humorously, of her parents, particularly her 88-year old mom who has mastered the IPad and “Bikramish” Yoga.
Her re-imagining of Medea telling Jason off and her Lady Macbeth as interpreted by Little Edie Beale of Grey Gardens fame were comic gems, not to belittle her Nora—of Ibsen’s A Doll House—in the hands Carmella Soprano acidly telling Torvald off in very un-Norwegian terms. Let’s also not forget her delicious South Shore Long Island Blanche Dubois.
The centerpiece of the set was a verbatim reading of a wedding announcement direct from the social pages of the New York Times. Two more clueless newlyweds will never be found, especially after being put through the Halston comedy wringer. The disturbingly thick couple’s antics, enhanced by Halston’s vocal inflections and body language had the audience laughing so hard that she could barely finish.
Her smart takes on Joan Crawford, Tom Cruise & Katie Holmes, same sex marriage and acting are not to be missed.
Julie Halston’s humor does demand a certain sophistication and a bit of a campy mentality. She’s like an intensely focused, funny Ruth Draper—timing perfect, characterizations detailed. She’s not a college tour act, that’s for sure, but an urbane, classy performer whose audience has to be on her wavelength.
She’s fresh and warm and a comic genius.
More about Julie Halston: www.juliehalstononline.com