Two weeks ago, I played Mattie (short for “Matilda”), a member of the housekeeping staff at the Beverly Hills Hotel. The play was Neil Simon’s California Suite. My director, Lisa Woodward, added two characters to the script. My fellow maid Bets (Bettina), played wonderfully by Susan Johns, and I were the comedic relief between scenes. We had a blast, and by many kind reports, we did a fine job.
In the video above, I come into the suite to clean the room. I discover a gorgeous gown left on the bed. A British movie star has tossed it there after losing the Oscar. Mattie is star struck, so she can’t resist trying it on. Putting on a evening gown in front of an audience was not anything I’d ever imagined I’d do. Sometimes, life tosses us happy challenges!
In other scenes, I danced the macarena, encountered an adorable hooker slinking into the suite, admonished Bets for sneaking a cigarette, and drank too much gin and then danced with my mop. Bill the Bellhop tried to wake us up, but alas, he was unsuccessful. (Here we are posing backstage with the bellhop, played brilliantly by Joe Siler.)
Below are some more shots from the show. Thanks to Susan B. for the video and some of the photos. Other photos were taken by Cliff, who reported having trouble getting clear shots since we weren’t still on stage very long.
I loved the curtain call best of all, when Bets and I came onto the stage for a final time as the song California Girls played. We dusted off our fellow actors and then took a bow.
Thanks to the director and techs and cast of California Suite. I hated turning in my maid’s costume; I loved it so much.
And now it’s back to just cleaning my own house, which isn’t nearly as much fun.