‘The Blonde’ Shows Insight, Compassion


Just when “Walking the Blonde” at Theatre Geo threatens to founder on looming emotional cliches, playwright-actress Leigh Curran lobs us a delightful, unexpected twist that somehow fits her characters as naturally as skin.

As Arno, the middle-aged lesbian art gallery proprietor in this tartly comic exploration of loss and healing, Curran’s performance proves from the outset refreshingly heartfelt and authentic. Even as she enters the sidewalk set, sits on a bench and contemplates a small container, we know from her pained expression it contains the ashes of a loved one.

As it turns out, the dearly departed was her dog, and she’s been carrying the can around for some time seeking the right moment for burial. Without a trace of heavy-handedness, Linda Carlson’s sensitive direction establishes the link between Arno’s reluctance to part with the ashes and her inability to accept the failure of her love affair with a younger woman (Kim Fitzgerald).


Among the many pleasant surprises are Lee Garlington’s hilarious portrait of Arno’s pot-addled friend and Benny S. Cannon’s mischievous homeless street prophet.

Plagued by dawning recognition about her own domineering nature, Arno admits in a despairing moment that it’s sometimes hard to feel proud of being human. Yet Curran’s character-based drama of life stages, evolving needs, understanding and forgiveness has the kind of insight and compassion to help recover that elusive pride.

* “Walking the Blonde,” Theatre Geo, 1229 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood. Thursdays - Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 7 p.m. Ends Oct. 15. $20. (213) 466-1767. Running time: 1 hour, 50 minutes.