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The Woman Who Dressed Hollywood – Edith Head comes to life in one-woman show

JamesBlairphoto Susan Claassen as Edith Head in the Center State Theater production of "A Conversation with Edith Head" James Blair photo

JamesBlairphoto Susan Claassen as Edith Head in the Center State Theater production of “A Conversation with Edith Head”
James Blair photo

When I was a kid I had the movie poster for Steve Martin’s “Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid” in my room — Mr. Martin was my favorite comedian at the time — and I memorized all the names on that poster, including a certain Edith Head, who had designed all the costumes. As I grew up watching old movies, I noticed Edith’s name popping up everywhere. I also didn’t know that the Steve Martin film would be her last, as she died just after the film wrapped, at age 83. She left behind a filmography of 1,131 films as costumer, with 35 Oscar nominations and 8 wins.

“A Conversation with Edith Head,” which opens tonight at Center Stage Theater and runs through Sunday only, brings to life the woman who dressed Betty Davis in “All About Eve,” and Robert Redford and Paul Newman in “The Sting.” This one-woman show, co-written by and starring Suzanne Claassen, has earned rave reviews since it opened in 2002. Performed as a chatty conversation between Ms. Head and the audience, it takes in Ms. Head’s 60 years in the business and even opens up the floor to questions at the end, answered just as Ms. Head would do herself.

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