Bette Davis Ain't For Sissies
Closed 1h 30m
Bette Davis Ain't For Sissies

Bette Davis Ain't For Sissies NYC Reviews and Tickets

(16 Reviews)
Members say
Entertaining, Great acting, Absorbing, Clever, Ambitious

About the Show

This 90-minute one-woman show, performed monthly at the Episcopal Actors' Guild, tells the story 1930s icon Bette Davis, on the night of the 1939 Academy Awards. 

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Member Reviews (16)

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Relevant, Absorbing, Clever, Well acted, Hollywood lore

See it if you love Hollywood's heyday/Bette Davis. Sherr's show captures BD's fire/ambition, and presents her fight against the studio system. Fun bio

Don't see it if you dislike solo shows (uses phone often for expositn) or you've no interest in old Hywd. It's a snappy reminder of hurdles in a man's world

Ambitious, Great acting, Resonant

See it if you want to see the Hollywood heyday and BD . It is a well acted show. Based on the night of the Academy Awards.

Don't see it if If you don't like Bette Davis or that era. Or one women shows. A show that is high paced. a bigger production.

Critic Reviews (11)

Chicago Reader
June 15th, 2017

“There are no big surprises in Jessica Sherr's 60-minute solo, no novel insights...Yes, Bette Davis faced sexism in the movie industry. Yes, it was lonely at the top...The main appeal of ‘Sissie’...Is Sherr herself, whose Davis isn't quite like any you've seen, adding a bright comic energy to the usual semaphore gestures and wised-up locutions. Sherr is especially wild during a passage where Davis gets randy with Howard Hughes.”
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Stage and Cinema
June 16th, 2017

“Reimagining as much as recreating the cinema idol’s feisty hunger and jerky grace, ‘Bette Davis Ain’t for Sissies’ is catnip for the cognoscenti...It’s a time-capsule treasure for once and future fans of the Tinsel Town icon...With flashing eyes and clipped delivery...Sherr impishly displays the various looks Davis cultivated to match her attitudes...Sherr’s one-act tour-de-force can only be a blast from the past, a seminal glimpse of a legend in full flux. It’s always a pleasure to watch."
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Chicago Theatre Review
May 27th, 2018

"As the evening progresses, the audience soaks up delicious tidbits about the making of Bette Davis’ most famous films...In Jessica Sherr’s newly-expanded, 90-minute version of her well-researched solo performance, audiences will find themselves mesmerized by this animated, energetic performer...By the end of the evening, Ms. Sherr has infused her audience with a shared adoration of what made Bette Davis a legend."
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Windy City Media Group
June 21st, 2017

“Sherr's performance shuns all traces of camp caricature to encompass a flinty New England accent, changes of costume incorporating accessories belonging to the real-life Davis and facial replication mirroring her iconic persona so accurately as to totally eclipse the playbill photograph of Sherr as herself. A complete summary of Davis' long career could span several evenings...This tantalizing glimpse...ends after just more than an hour...leaving us wanting more.”
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Windy City Media Group
June 6th, 2018

"Sherr makes a triumphant return to Chicago with an expanded 90-minute love letter to the tough, complex and truly unforgettable star of stage and screen...Sherr pulls no punches: As talented and stunning as Davis was, she was also prickly, demanding and forever dissatisfied with La La Land, escaping to her beloved East Coast whenever she could...Sherr has created something funny, tragic and completely unforgettable. Don't miss this tribute to Old Hollywood."
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May 27th, 2018

"We are given insight to Bette’s relationship with Hollywood and the world, her daughter B.D., the relationship she had with herself and the supportive relationship of her mother...You will laugh, you will feel her pride, soar on her triumphs, and your heart will follow...through her failures, as her attempts to rise above to do what she truly loves...A woman unlike many others...You will fall in love with Sherr and Bette.”
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June 19th, 2017

“Sherr’s winning performances carries the audience...Often, the need to go over the speaker’s history is not grounded in clear dramatic stakes. Such is the case with ‘Bette Davis'...though Sherr manages to make an entertaining raconteur...Sherr’s energy is infectious...the force of her performance draws you into the next scenario clearly and cleanly. It is a shame that her script does not drive the action forward...she could do so much with more dramatically grounded material."
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June 18th, 2017

“Sherr packed her portrayal of the legendary actress...with a lot of the dreams, sacrifices, and energy...Sherr’s strong performance was somewhat marred by production issues...Her performance captures many of the qualities that made Davis one of the greatest actresses of her time, her willingness to take on tough roles with good sense, and humor rather than fear or regret, and a complex and contrasting personality that went from tough to emotional and vulnerable.”
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May 25th, 2018

"Exquisite...Sherr is Davis from the moment she breezes into the room in vintage Oscar night drag...There are moments in Sherr’s performance where the verisimilitude is stunning, where her invocation of Davis’s most private, most internal moments of righteous ferocity, of crippling self-doubt, and of heartbreak are breathtaking. Then, in a wink, she whips the narrative into a joke and punctuates that moment with laughter."
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January 4th, 2019

“Writer and actor Jessica Sherr is a dead ringer for young Bette Davis. She is kinetic energy crowned in pin curls and draped in a fitted evening gown. Ms. Sherr channels the voice and mannerisms of Davis without distorting the star into a caricature. Her writing and portrayal of Ms. Davis presents the iconic movie star as a fully fleshed out three dimensional character...This play is a fresh take on the life and times of Bette Davis; it blends drama and humor, with a bit of sass.”
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May 31st, 2018

“Under the skillful direction of Perillo, the amazing Sherr makes it look effortless...She weaves the diva’s tumultuous personal and professional life into a celebrity-driven-tell-all. Sherr seamlessly changes tone, emotion and clothes with bold vulnerability...The stories are captivating...I would highly recommend this one woman tour de force for fans of the Golden Age of Hollywood. Sherr is the perfect tour guide to a trip to the past."
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