Sloan's play frames Holliday's story from the afterlife, where she and her mother Helen (Mary Gutzi) look back on key moments in the actress' life. Theatergoers see Holliday's first forays into the theater, serving as a receptionist for Orson Welles' Mercury Theatre, her initial success with Adolph Green and Betty Comden (Catherine Lefrere and Adam Harrington effectively play all the famous and not-so-famous women and men in Holliday's life) and both her disappointments and triumphs on stage and screen, notably her portrayal of Billie Dawn in Born Yesterday.
At times, the performers announce a fictitious movie title and then, relay key facts about Holliday's life and career; it's a clever variation on "The Movie Game," an improvisation exercise that Green teaches Holliday, in which after a movie title has been devised, the performers have to improvise what the movie might be about.
Less successful is Sloan's repetition of imagined appearances by Holliday on the TV show "What's My Line?" When he first employs the device and it turns from a seemingly biographical moment into the day when Holliday goes before the House Un-American Activities Committee, the effect chills, but when he repeats it later as she battles cancer, the effect is merely cloying.
-- Andy Propst