News Column

Drag troupe debuts 'Valley of the Dolls'

June 7, 2013

YellowBrix

June 07--The Dolls are paying homage to their namesake -- and it's about time.

The Albuquerque-based drag troupe is putting on "Valley of the Dolls" for the first time in its nearly 17-year history.

"This is something we've always wanted to do," says Kenneth Ansloan, co-founder of the group. "We all felt like it was time to give this one a chance."

"Valley of the Dolls" is a 1966 novel written by Jacqueline Susann. A film in 1967 soon followed and starred Barbara Parkins, Patty Duke, Sharon Tate, Paul Burke, Martin Milner and Susan Hayward. The film quickly gained a cult following despite being panned by critics. It was re-released in 1969 following the murder of Sharon Tate and became commercially viable.

The plot follows three young women who meet when they embark on their careers.

Neely O'Hara is a plucky kid with undeniable talent who sings in a Broadway show, the legendary actress Helen Lawson is the star of the play, and Jennifer North, a beautiful blonde with limited talent, is in the chorus. Anne Welles is a New England ingenue who recently arrived in New York City and works as a secretary for a theatrical agency that represents Lawson.

Neely, Jennifer and Anne become fast friends, sharing the bonds of ambition and the tendency to fall in love with the wrong men.

"Our play follows the movie fairly closely," Ansloan says. "Our original intent was to do the show scene for scene, but it proved too difficult. We've also taken the show more over the top."

Ansloan says there were many scenes that had to be cut out of the play because the running time became too long.

"What's great about this is that we're doing this in a minimal way," he says. "There's so much color to this production that we don't want to take anything away from it."

Ansloan has been writing and preparing the show since February and the cast and crew has been rehearsing for the past month.

"We've all been inspired by this film and we want to pay respects to the film that inspired the troupe," he says. "We're working nonstop to ensure that the audience has some fun."

'Valley of the Dolls'

WHEN: 8 tonight and Saturday, June 8 and 2 p.m. Sunday, June 9; repeats June 14-16 and 21-23

WHERE: Aux Dog Theatre, 3011 Monte Vista NE

HOW MUCH: $15 at 254-7716 or info@auxdog.com

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(c)2013 the Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, N.M.)

Visit the Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, N.M.) at www.abqjournal.com

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