Hollywood glamour is gracing Auckland next week when Veronica Lake hits town.
The murky and misunderstood story of the 1940s screen siren is coming to life thanks to Flaxwork Theatre Company.
Drowning in Veronica Lake opens at Q Theatre on August 22 and runs until September 1 with a one-off special show and movie evening on August 25.
Western Springs resident Alex Ellis plays the blondie who went from a beautiful talent to an unrecognisable waitress after her alcoholic life spiralled out of control.
"How could you pass up the chance to play a Hollywood movie star?" says Ms Ellis, who channels the actress by wearing a peek-a-boo wig and huge dress.
“Veronica Lake was the poster child for every star unprepared for sudden fame, who finds that the gossip threatens to overshadow their actual career. See Charlie Sheen, Whitney Houston, Lindsay Lohan and Amy Winehouse.”
The American actress came to fame early in her life and spent many years being controlled by big studio directors who typecast the actress as a femme-fatale, seductive blonde.
She won critical acclaim for her role in Sullivan's Travels which will screen at Q after the live performance on August 25.
The story Ms Ellis and playwright Phil Ormsby have produced is pieced together from researching film archives, newspaper records and databases of information about the late star.
Its not a tribute but is more about presenting a different side of the troubled celebrity.
"It's just to capture the mood of her kind of story and because there's so many conflicting stories we don't really know the truth about Veronica Lake," Mr Ormsby says.
"On film is the only place she genuinely exists - she'll always be remembered that way."
The show is just over an hour long and is a monologue by Ms Ellis whose flamboyant dress takes up most of the stage.
She's performed as the troubled actress almost 100 times since Drowning in Veronica Lake premiered during the Auckland Fringe Festival last year.
Mr Ormsby says it's a pleasure to be showing Sullivan's Travels as this film was one of the few where she broke out of her stereotype.
Visit flaxworks.com for more information and show details.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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