Jackie Unveiled

Critics

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90 %

Reviews: 5

Audience

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Reviews: 0

Hailed as an icon of style, grace and strength, Jacqueline “Jackie” Kennedy Onassis was known for her alluring mystery and piercing sensuality. Much has been written and said about America's most famous First Lady. However, one detail usually omitted from the story is that she was human. Award-winning playwright Tom Dugan's one-woman drama Jackie Unveiled starring Saffron Burrows (Amazon's “Mozart in the Jungle”) dares to peek behind the façade of America's most private public figure. Making its world premiere in the Lovelace Studio Theater at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts (The Wallis) from Thursday, February 22 through Sunday, March 11, 2018, the searing drama is set against two of Jackie's most seminal life moments, examining the deeply personal struggles of a woman who seemed to have it all.

Reviews

Travis Michael Holder

Saffron Burrows is sensational as Jackie, who wonders if she, like her aunt and cousin Big and Little Edie Beale, will end up wandering around her own personal Grey Gardens as mad as they became. With an uncanny (onstage) resemblance and adopting an American accent that recalls all the signature vocal intonations without resorting to the usual breathy bad imitation, under the exquisitely subtle yet kinetic direction of Jenny Sullivan, Burrows grabs us with a strength and resiliency few successfully realize.

sweet - Travis Michael Holder - TicketHolders LA - ...read full review


Avatar

Award-winning playwright, Tom Dugan claims what drew him to write his one-woman drama, “Jackie Unveiled,” was the idea of a woman on the cusp of history, half-in and half-out of her progress towards modernity. Also, he points to the current assault on all that women have achieved which we are witnessing daily about us. Dugan's play is undeniably fascinating. Jenny Sullivan's direction on a beautifully realized set by Francois-Pierre Couture is the epitome of skilled craftsmanship. And actress Saffron Burrows' performance of Jackie Kennedy Onassis is rock solid.

sweet - Ernest Kearney - www.thetvolution.com - ...read full review


Eric A Gordon

As to JFK's death, of course she is angry that “they” killed him, but then goes on to recite all the putative forces behind the killing, saying in the end, “I don't even care who”—Dugan's clever way of dispatching that particular wasp nest of conspiracies. With a mountain of material on JBK to plough through, it's tempting to pick out some prophetic-sounding concerns and ramp them up a notch. For example, shortly after the Clintons moved into the White House, Jackie met Hillary on Martha's Vineyard, and saw that the new first lady was having a hard time finding her sea legs. “Be yourself,” JBK counseled HRC: “There's nothing in the world that frightens a man more than a powerful woman.” Toward the end, as her son John turns 30 and she realizes it's not her place any more to try to control him, she begs for one last dinner together to offer him her wisdom. It's about the generations of danger-courting champion Kennedys—and the examples and consequences are legion. “Stop taking risks with your life.” In the second act Jackie is working on an assemblage of photos and ephemera, “one big messy collage we call life.” She holds a matchbook from one of JFK's campaigns and asks herself, “Where should I put Jack?” In the popular memory John F. Kennedy carries some saint-like attributes, although we all know he had his full share of flaws. His widow asks a good question. And after seeing this play, we might ask the same about Jackie. The creative team includes: Francois-Pierre Courture (scenic design); Jared A. Sayeg (lighting design); Marcy Froehlich (costume design); and Randall Robert Tico (sound design). The set looks like a realtor's “staging” of a property for sale—fake books in precious arrangements on the shelves (and no coffee table art books with which JBK was identified), vases of flowers placed just so, a TV set placed oddly with no chair or sofa in front of it, a foyer seen just offstage which serves as the actor's entrance door but which also illogically features a fireplace. This is a tour-de-force for Ms. Burrows, a notable entry in the annals of political theatre, and a deeply intimate experience, if you'll only promise to remember, it's not living history, it's a play.

sweet - Eric A Gordon - ...read full review


Steven Stanley

No matter what you've seen or read about Jackie Kennedy Onassis before, you've never had the chance to spend a one-on-one evening with her until now. With so personal an invite chez Jackie, you'd be foolish not to RSVP yes.

sweet - Steven Stanley - Stage Scene LA - ...read full review


Ellen Dostal

It's a scattershot journey, to be sure, and one that doesn't yet pay off. We know [Jackie] isn't really going to commit suicide, and it is one of the biggest dilemmas in Dugan's narrative. At the end of Act I, Jackie walks offstage, presumably to do the deed. We don't see her change her mind. In fact, nothing in the act has given us pause to think she might choose to live. That makes it all the more unsettling when the play picks up after intermission some 26 years later. It feels like we've been tricked.

sweet-sour - Ellen Dostal - BroadwayWorld Los Angeles - ...read full review


Travis Michael Holder

Saffron Burrows is sensational as Jackie, who wonders if she, like her aunt and cousin Big and Little Edie Beale, will end up wandering around her own personal Grey Gardens as mad as they became. With an uncanny (onstage) resemblance and adopting an American accent that recalls all the signature vocal intonations without resorting to the usual breathy bad imitation, under the exquisitely subtle yet kinetic direction of Jenny Sullivan, Burrows grabs us with a strength and resiliency few successfully realize.

sweet - Travis Michael Holder - TicketHolders LA - ...read full review


Avatar

Award-winning playwright, Tom Dugan claims what drew him to write his one-woman drama, “Jackie Unveiled,” was the idea of a woman on the cusp of history, half-in and half-out of her progress towards modernity. Also, he points to the current assault on all that women have achieved which we are witnessing daily about us. Dugan's play is undeniably fascinating. Jenny Sullivan's direction on a beautifully realized set by Francois-Pierre Couture is the epitome of skilled craftsmanship. And actress Saffron Burrows' performance of Jackie Kennedy Onassis is rock solid.

sweet - Ernest Kearney - www.thetvolution.com - ...read full review


Eric A Gordon

As to JFK's death, of course she is angry that “they” killed him, but then goes on to recite all the putative forces behind the killing, saying in the end, “I don't even care who”—Dugan's clever way of dispatching that particular wasp nest of conspiracies. With a mountain of material on JBK to plough through, it's tempting to pick out some prophetic-sounding concerns and ramp them up a notch. For example, shortly after the Clintons moved into the White House, Jackie met Hillary on Martha's Vineyard, and saw that the new first lady was having a hard time finding her sea legs. “Be yourself,” JBK counseled HRC: “There's nothing in the world that frightens a man more than a powerful woman.” Toward the end, as her son John turns 30 and she realizes it's not her place any more to try to control him, she begs for one last dinner together to offer him her wisdom. It's about the generations of danger-courting champion Kennedys—and the examples and consequences are legion. “Stop taking risks with your life.” In the second act Jackie is working on an assemblage of photos and ephemera, “one big messy collage we call life.” She holds a matchbook from one of JFK's campaigns and asks herself, “Where should I put Jack?” In the popular memory John F. Kennedy carries some saint-like attributes, although we all know he had his full share of flaws. His widow asks a good question. And after seeing this play, we might ask the same about Jackie. The creative team includes: Francois-Pierre Courture (scenic design); Jared A. Sayeg (lighting design); Marcy Froehlich (costume design); and Randall Robert Tico (sound design). The set looks like a realtor's “staging” of a property for sale—fake books in precious arrangements on the shelves (and no coffee table art books with which JBK was identified), vases of flowers placed just so, a TV set placed oddly with no chair or sofa in front of it, a foyer seen just offstage which serves as the actor's entrance door but which also illogically features a fireplace. This is a tour-de-force for Ms. Burrows, a notable entry in the annals of political theatre, and a deeply intimate experience, if you'll only promise to remember, it's not living history, it's a play.

sweet - Eric A Gordon - ...read full review


Steven Stanley

No matter what you've seen or read about Jackie Kennedy Onassis before, you've never had the chance to spend a one-on-one evening with her until now. With so personal an invite chez Jackie, you'd be foolish not to RSVP yes.

sweet - Steven Stanley - Stage Scene LA - ...read full review


Ellen Dostal

It's a scattershot journey, to be sure, and one that doesn't yet pay off. We know [Jackie] isn't really going to commit suicide, and it is one of the biggest dilemmas in Dugan's narrative. At the end of Act I, Jackie walks offstage, presumably to do the deed. We don't see her change her mind. In fact, nothing in the act has given us pause to think she might choose to live. That makes it all the more unsettling when the play picks up after intermission some 26 years later. It feels like we've been tricked.

sweet-sour - Ellen Dostal - BroadwayWorld Los Angeles - ...read full review