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Wednesday, September 18, 2013


Greta Garbo: eternal screen Goddess and subject of the
upcoming live streaming event "Garbo Dreams."

There has been lot of love spilling forth recently from the cup of cinema past, particularly with regard to our female pioneers. First there was the triumphant campaign to fund the documentary Be Natural, which will cover the life and work of unsung filmmaker Alice Guy-Blache. Now, the public eye is being redirected at a much more prominent silent screen personage.

Throughout her life, whether purposely projecting into the camera or being publicly caught off guard in a candid moment, Greta Garbo has seduced, swooned, sacrificed, hypnotized, bewildered, bewitched, invaded, evaded, and yes, talked. What Garbo never did-- at least not where anyone could see-- was be "herself." It seems that even her closest friends knew a different version of her, all thinking that they alone had uncovered the true woman. Eventually, whether John Gilbert, Salka Viertel, or Mauritz Stiller, each compatriot would be confronted by yet another one of Greta's chameleon faces from her shifting inner walls, and whatever confident hypotheses had been formed about her would be toppled to dust yet again.

It's possible that Garbo never really knew Garbo, which is why pages and pages of historical research into the chasms of her fiercely-guarded private self are always up for debate, revision, and reinterpretation. Yet, the more she teases with her aloof withdrawal, the more we seek her out. What is found is generally up to the viewer. Garbo was and still somehow is living art, and the broad strokes of her enigma tell each spectator's story more than her own. But who was she really???

Lauren LoGiudice as Greta Garbo.

 This seemingly impossible question has a very simple answer: she was human. This is a fact boldly communicated in the upcoming play "Garbo Dreams," by Lauren LoGiudice:

Greta Garbo doesn’t know it yet, but she is in her final year on earth. Lonely, she spends most of her time secluded in her home, cracking jokes and telling stories to her imaginary friends in the form of two toy troll dolls, a plastic snowman, and a painting. Greta is confronted with her final task: to destroy a small box, which contains mementos of her life and loves. Will she have the courage to burn them -- or will she have to face the part of herself that hides from the world? In this hilariously poignant portrayal, Greta finds that although her life is aflame her heart it still intact.

As depicted in this play, Greta has been off the screen for decades and has become the urban legend of New York, her sightings as rare, as yearned for, and as heckled as those of Big foot. Living a hermetic existence, she is left to entertain, condemn, and console herself-- just as she seemed to have wanted it. How does this incredible woman balance the acclaimed star she once was with the aged and dying recluse she has become? How does she qualify the diverse images of herself? How does she see herself, her past, and her remaining hours? Does she live with regret, or does she merely scoff at the world that was never able to claim her soul? And when she dreams, does she dream in color or in the liquid black and white of her poetic, glory days?

Garbo at 46.

It appears that an actress, and an impassioned one at that, never stops acting, and this "hidden camera" experience creates a window into the life of the Sphinx of Celluloid when at her most unguarded, natural, and vulnerable. The one-woman show hopes to bring down the walls of shadow and illusion, illuminating the shades of Garbo as heretofore unseen, as well as paying homage to the culture of Hollywood which she both lived in, enjoyed, feared, and survived. Greta was never Garbo. She was a mysterious and compelling woman at once easily hurt, surprisingly spontaneous, consumed with self-doubt, and occasionally an impromptu ham. Garbo wore a man's armor to fight off the uncertainties of life, yet she too was a little girl who sometimes irreverently blew raspberries at her own reflection-- the same image society saw as the pinnacle of beauty. She was Garbo sharp as a tack, and Garbo as vulnerable as a newborn. She was a universe unto herself, just as we.

In fact, in being evasive, Garbo may have been one of our most honest sisters. She was human, after all. She wasn't one image, one thing, one easily categorized product to be plopped into one tight, little box.She was a woman. She was alive. She breathed, she lived, she loved, she hurt, and she died. And she knew. She knew that the world didn't want the real Great Gustafson. They wanted only the incandescent movie star of the silver screen-- glowing like an angel and both reflecting and exposing the hidden parts of her audience. In the end, Garbo let the world have the image, and kept herself.

To voyage into the realm of rediscovery-- or to discover for the first time-- the paradox that is Greta Garbo, I humbly beseech you to draw attention to this commendable play about one of our most beloved players. A humorous and touching Portrait of the Artist as an Aged Woman, this slice of life performance promises film references and homages for the staunchest students of the golden era of silent, while offering new treasures to those who are just beginning to indulge their fascination. I encourage you to share this article, the following website, and invite as many film lovers as possible to tune into tonight's LIVE STREAMING of GARBO DREAMS.

!!!Please spread the word and watch a new chapter of curiosity unfold. Let us continue our celebration of our creative heritage and cultural diagnoses of our very humanity-- which always seems easier to comprehend when viewed through a trusted (and in this case gorgeous) face.!!!

To learn more about the play, go to Garbo Dreams:

To tune in tonight to see the live streaming of the play!

Wednesday, Sept. 18th @ 6pm EDT / 3pm PDT on UStream:

"Your joys and sorrows. You can never tell them. You cheapen the inside of yourself if you do tell them."-- Greta Garbo

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