Writer-director Odalys Nanin's fictionalized bio-play Garbo's Cuban Lover
zeroes in on Mercedes De Acosta, who in the 1930s was celebrated as a poet, playwright and novelist, though nowadays she's remembered mostly for her lesbian affairs with famous actresses including Eva LeGallienne, Alla Nazimova and Tallulah Bankhead. In Nanin's play, De Acosta (played by the author), meets Greta Garbo (Angela Nicholas) and forms an obsessive relationship with her. But daunted by Garbo's selfishness, reclusiveness and whims of iron, she distracts herself with Marlene Dietrich (Kelly Mullis) -- until Garbo beckons once again. Apparently De Acosta's obsession lasted till her death in 1968. Nanin's script is clever and often effective, and her performance is stylish, though it sometimes veers into melodrama. Nicholas portrays Garbo with accuracy and distinction, but Mullis seems to have been encouraged by director Ivonne Coll to go for the obvious, which Dietrich seldom did. Tessa Munro contributes a nice turn as dancer Isadora Duncan, while Helene McCardle is a stolid Salka Viertel and Vince Donvito offers a rumbustious take on producer Irving Thalberg. The uncredited costumes are excellent, and John Toom provides the handsome Art Deco set.
Sat., July 20, 8 p.m.; Sun., July 21, 3 p.m.; Sun., July 28, 3 & 7 p.m.; Thursdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 3 p.m. Starts: July 20. Continues through Aug. 25, 2013