Paris 1890 – Unlaced! Returns to Ventfort Hall for the Holiday Season
Ventfort Hall is pleased to announce the return of Paris 1890 – Unlaced! Produced by Ventfort Hall in collaboration with Shakespeare & Company where it played to critical and popular acclaim in over 70 performances. The play was commissioned from playwright and author Juliane Hiam and stars Anne Undeland in multiple roles.
With a running time of an hour, Paris 1890 – Unlaced! brings to light a mystery featuring five women, all performed…by Ms. Undeland: “Juliette,” a contemporary museum director, “La Crème,” an infamous Parisian courtesan; “Hettie,” the wife of La Crème’s benefactor; “La Chapeliere,” a wily and wise milliner; “Gertrude,” an American innocent abroad; and finally, “The Virgin,” a flash-in-the-pan celebrity in the Montmartre nightclub scene – singer, dancer, aspiring courtesan. In Citizen Kane-style, as we hear from each successive character, we come closer to solving the mystery around which the play is constructed.
While filled with farce and naughty innuendo, Paris 1890 – Unlaced! resonates with contemporary audiences for its examination of aging, celebrity culture, and — most provocatively — sexual politics. It reveals the friendships that, by necessity, developed among women and the strategies they employed to ensure financial and physical security. Compressing a number of ideas in a neat little package, Unlaced! looks closely at prostitution (which was legal and even celebrated in fin de siècle Paris) without ever losing its sense of humor, clear-sightedness, or compassion for its characters. It is “girl power,” 19th century-style.
Playwright Juliane Hiam was one of the youngest screenwriters in Hollywood to also direct her first feature film. At 21, she optioned her script, “Dead Silence,” an award-winning film starring Danny Aiello, Sally Kirkland and Maureen Stapleton. Her humor column “The World According to Jacoozi” was syndicated nationally with a circulation of over a million in newspapers such as the LA Daily News and its affiliates.
Actress Anne Undeland has appeared on stages along the east coast for the last 15 years, most notably in the one-woman shows, “Open Marriage,” “The Belle of Amherst”, “Xingu” and “Fanny Kemble’s Lenox Address,” all collaborations between Shakespeare and Company and Ventfort Hall. She trained at Shakespeare and Company has performed with Mixed Company, Stageworks, Barrington Stage, Capitol Rep, The New Repertory Theatre in Boston, and at the Metropolitan Playhouse in New York. She is a recurring voice in award-winning BBC Radio productions by Gregory Whitehead.
Play runs: December 31 – 4:00 p.m & January 1 – 4:00 p.m.
“A tour-de-force…(a) wholesale triumph that is this entertaining and provocative evening of original, alternative theater….” — Seth Rogovoy
“Top 10 Picks…a frothy fable…a welcome escape” — The Women’s Times
“Paris 1890 – Unlaced! is first and foremost, funny” — Gail Burns, GailSez.org
“…a comedic mystery set in Paris in 1890 with a Gilded Age venue (Ventfort Hall)… a natural.” — Judith Fairweather, The Advocate