THE INTERVIEWS AND REVIEWS ARE IN AND THEY ARE ANYTHING BUT BUMPY
The complete interview with legendary entertainment reporter Bobbie Wygant, August 1, 2017
The complete interview with WFAA's Alisha Laventure August 2, 2017, Midday News
Shaw’s performance as “Bette” has left audiences breathless. “It’s an honor to play this legendary icon, to bring her to life and share the complete person with the world,” said Ms. Shaw. When asked what she likes most about Ms. Carr’s script, she emphatically said, “Looking into Bette’s heart. She was a strong woman, but the documentaries rarely show you the love she had for her family.”
CULTURE MAP DALLAS
Dallas native Morgana Shaw has straddled mediums her entire career, slipping from television to film to theater with ease. You might recognize her as Jim Carrey's mother from I Love You Phillip Morris or as the brothel madam Mab from the WGN series Salem. Or perhaps you saw her as the manipulative queen Fastrada in Theatre Three's Pippin, the leather-clad rock icon Billie Trix in Uptown Players' Closer to Heaven, or the betrayed wife in L.I.P. Service's excellent The Goat or, Who Is Sylvia? just last year.
There's also a good chance you've seen her portray a legendary screen icon in Camilla Carr's one-woman play All About Bette: An Evening with Bette Davis. It's had two productions at Theatre Three already, and is now embarking on a Dallas-Fort Worth tour that starts June 8-10 at the Margo Jones Theatre in Fair Park. - LINDSEY WILSON
ART AND SEEK
With thrusted chin, stretched mouth, head flung back and constant hair tousling, Morgana is equally believable as Bette, young and old. She swings her arms, swirls her body and clicks her heels across the stage. She owns the stage and fills the space. Morgana is never out of character, regardless who that character is. The stage is set credibly with just enough props to be convincing: an open trunk for changing clothes and characters, a mirror, a podium and of course, an ash tray to stomp out the ubiquitous cigarette. - GAIL SACHSON
THE DALLAS VOICE
"The flinty glow from a Marlboro Menthol is the only illumination, then shards of lightning briefly frame the figure. Our glimpses are glancing, but definitive: The silhouette, the bangs, the pursed lips, the hat — that hat! Then a croaking delivery that can only come from one person. “Aren’t there any gay men in the audience?” For these few moments, you’d bet the farm that it’s Bette Davis come back to life.
But actually, it’s better. We get Morgana Shaw, massaging, interpreting, embodying, modulating the notoriously prickly, and just as famously brilliant, Warner Bros. actress — until Meryl Streep, the consensus pick for the finest film performer ever, and even post-Meryl, Hollywood’s most iconic movie star. Those are huge heels to walk into, yet Shaw does it to perfection. She looks every day of the 81-year-old Davis, at the end of her career and life, giving what seems to be one final performance to the gape-mouthed delight of the 60 gathered audience members at the Margo Jones Theater in Fair Park’s Magnolia Lounge." - ARNOLD WAYNE JONES email@example.com
THE FLASH LIST
Bringing to life the legendary Oscar-winning actress who dazzled big-screen audiences for more than six decades, local actress Morgana Shaw now portrays Bette Davis in the currently-touring show All About Bette. A hit at the Spoleto Festival in Charleston, South Carolina, the work also received both Best Performance and Best Play awards at Bogata's Iberoamericano de Teatro, (the largest theatre festival in the world).
Less about cheap character imitation or exaggerated television drama and more like an in-depth personal interlude, the one-woman play written by Camilla Carr delves below the surface for an insightful look into the woman considered to be one of the greatest actresses of all time. The Flash List caught up with Morgana Shaw for a quick conversation as she was finishing up a promotional photo shoot complete with fitted vintage dress, classic Hollywood hairstyle, and vodka-filled martini glass. - SHERRI TILLEY
"Midway through the first act, Shaw’s Bette pulls her dark velvet coat close to her and begins to talk about her four husbands, and how social norms of the time drove her to marry injudiciously. “I married people I shouldn’t have gone to dinner with,” she says, laughing and sighing at once.
Then the lights dim and Shaw steps behind a huge trunk at the rear of a nearly bare stage. She emerges seconds later transformed from an old woman in a wig and vintage finery to a gorgeous girl with a heavy mane of red hair dressed in a russet taffeta gown, her eyes and hair and dress all shining in the light. Voila! Bette is here in her heyday. She lights a cigarette and exudes glamour...
The show takes us from Bette’s beginning to end, literally, and runs almost two hours, including a 15-minute intermission. Shaw’s Bette gives us a sense of Hollywood’s Golden Age, and a bright glimpse of one of the toughest and most talented actresses that made it shine.
We exit the theater with a little stardust settling in our memories." - MARTHA HEIMBERG
Morgana Shaw succeeds in the uphill battle of captivating a crowd without another actor on stage. Her ability not only to memorize two hours worth of dialogue, but to transform herself through multiple decades and varied characters is worthy of high praise. She and director Ryan Matthieu Smith have creatively crafted an endless array of dramatic scenes with barely a prop or scenic element on stage.