Living Shadows: A Story Of Mary Pickford

Luminous theatre, bright shadows

Toronto's own little Gladys Smith grew up to become arguably, between 1914-19, one of screendom's (of any era) most beloved film stars - Mary Pickford. This petite dynamo made scores of movies, effortlessly switching from whimsy and comedy to high drama essentially as a tomboy who resolutely maintains her femininity. In Living Shadows, a wonderful and masterful one-woman play, written and performed in a star turn by the gifted Tracey Power, film director Billy Wilder, looking to cast a faded silent movie star to play the same in his upcoming film, Sunset Boulevard, asks retired Pickford to tell him who she was. And, thus prompted, with a role as bait, she does. With clever use of props - a hat held and animated at arm's length above her head becomes director D.W. Griffith - and an awesome skill set of acting chops, both physical and verbal, Power delivers a full and rich portrayal of a resouceful and dynamic woman who was justifiably, up there on moviedom's Mount Olympus with Douglas Fairbanks and Charlie Chaplin - partners in her production company, United Artists. Living Shadows: A Story of Mary Pickford is a brilliant, illuminating must-see theatre outing. Seen Sept. 2

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