Hungry For Laughter…in “Renee Taylor’s Life On A Diet” @ the Wallis

“You can never be too rich or too thin (or too famous!)” may be the perfect tag line for Renee Taylor’s life. Charmed as it may be, her life story is revealed in the most intimate of settings at the Wallis Annenberg’s Lovelace Theatre in her solo show: “Renee Taylor’s My Life On A Diet,” written by Renee Taylor and the late Joe Bologna. In a timeline of events and a chronology of diets, accompanied by a slideshow visual of her life, we see how the Renee Taylor of her youth has evolved beautifully into the Renee Taylor of her golden years, through thick and thin, literally. She has gotten herself together and ‘taken it on the road,’ and share with her world of adoring fans and friends, her love of life, food, family, her beloved late husband Joe Bologna. Both men and women will be able to identify with her comedic memoir, that she so easily reads from throughout the show, and since it’s her own personal life’s accounting, her recall is impeccable, or in her words, “it’s ginkgo overload!” We are amazed to learn of the quality and quantity of celebrity close friends in her formative and current years, including, to name a few, Fran Drescher, Lee Strasberg, Marilyn Monroe, Barbra Streisand, Jerry Lewis, Hugh Hefner, Elaine May, and Joan Crawford. In fact, Renee Taylor and Joe Bologna (who had been happily married 53 years) had their vows renewed by you name it: the Pope; Dalai Lama; and Dr. Oz. She casually and comfortably talks about a subject too often hidden in Hollywood: women’s body image and weight issues, and cleverly sums up all the diets she’s tried (without success), such as the Scarsdale diet; the Marilyn Monroe diet (frozen grapes); and her personal favorite, the champagne diet: “I have two glasses of champagne before every meal and I loved that!” Throughout the show there are pictures of the fabulous Ms. Taylor in sizes ranging from 4 to 18. She is able to laugh at herself, and even describe herself as a food tramp: “I’m someone who eats around!” Or upon waking up, her first recollection: “I dreamt about hash browns shaped like an Oscar.” Laughter truly is the best medicine for all that ails us, and although fat is not something we always celebrate, Taylor seems invincible in ‘neutralizing the term,’ and dressed to the nines in sequins; and aging so very gracefully, she is a legend in her own right, desirable and glam. It truly is refreshing to see a stylish, ‘off the rack’ celebrity icon take ownership of her image and body and truly embrace it. In her show, Taylor candidly shares the highs and lows of her well lived life (both on and off the scale). On her honeymoon, she had thought “if I found the true love of my life, I’d lose my appetite! Instead all I think of is chicken cacciatore and a hot fudge sundae!” There are so many pearls of wisdom to glean from Renee’s story. She states she looks to food for approval, and even though she has currently gone vegan, she’ll once in a blue moon have a juicy NY steak.” She also reveals that the only true recipe and diet for success includes “a pinch of kindness.” In “My Life On A Diet,” Renee Taylor pulls it all together and sums up her life succinctly “Destiny is calling… you just have to show up.”

Through April 14
Apr 10,11,12 @ 8pm
Apr 13 @ 2:30 and 8 pm
Apr 14 @2:30 and 7:30 pm
Wallis Annenberg
9390 Santa Monica Blvd. Beverly Hills
http://www.thewallis.org/diet
(310)746-4000

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About Bonnie Priever Curtain Up!

I am a theatre reviewer extraordinairre. I attend and cover theatres ranging from large to small venues, and every subject from musical theatre to dramatic presentations. Also please check out my reviews at www.examiner.com and www.tolucantimes.com my email is bonniedeb13@hotmail.com
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