155 First Avenue (between 9 and 10 Streets)
five performances between August 14-September 4. Performance dates/times: August 21 7pm, August 24 7pm, August 26 9pm, August 27 2pm matinee, August 28 7pm
Smarttix.com (or call) Phone (212) 868-4444
Our friend, poet Grace Cavalieri, writes: Everyone asks, “why Anna?” Well, as Sterling Brown said of Ma Rainey, “She jus got a ‘hold of me some kindaway.’ Maybe it was the sight of Anna without makeup in the hospital after giving birth, or the way they propped her up and fed her drugs and sent her into the spotlight, or because she had no network of support –even Judy Garland, Marilyn Monroe, Jayne Mansfield had more real care around them. She just got a ‘hold of me, chattering in my ear until I told her story. The play (all fiction but the feelings) opens at the Theater of the New City “Dream Up Festival.” August 21. Mary Riley plays Anna and I cannot believe my good luck. She captures the looks, mannerisms, vulnerability and, yes, the glory. Thank you Mary. The play resonates three true details of ANNA NICOLE SMITH’S life: She was a show girl, she married a billionaire, she was addicted to drugs. But it is a work of the imagination. The Xoregos Performing Company is doing Anna up brilliantly in full production. If you are in New York, see you there. (Love and Air Kisses from Grace and Anna.)
Sleeping with the old man made
Anna feel better. It was like
being a little girl when your mother
would make you hug your smelly
Aunt for the sake of her happiness.
Anna felt secure here.
Why in the world a blind man insisted
on a blue eyed blonde she
Once she held her maid's baby
against her chest
but it felt like a new rug on a dirty floor.
Where did she put that baby?
The old man said she was in
love with her own face and could
not love anything else.
A lie. A dirty lie. There was much
much more about her body she
loved. She loved how it felt
with the baby.
from Anna Nicole: Poems by Grace Cavalieri (Casa Menendez, 2008)
Grace Cavalieri is a playwright and a poet. Her latest book is Millie’s Sunshine Tiki Villas, 2011. She produces “The Poet and the Poem from the Library of Congress” for public radio.