Members say: Ambitious, Slow, Entertaining, Great acting, Great singing

About the show

Charting over 30 years of the Golden Age of Hollywood, including stories from the Silent Era, the Great Depression, and World War II, this solo play with music features songs from cinemas greatest stars.

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An aspiring actress stands on the 50 foot H, looking out at the lights of Los Angeles and the Dream Factory known as Hollywood. It is 1949: Truman is President, Marilyn Monroe is a little known model who poses nude for an art calendar in order to recover her impounded care. Nobody has ever heard of Evie Edwards, but Evie has only ever wanted one thing: to be a star. 'The Girl Who Jumped Off The Hollywood Sign' includes songs Judy Garland, Marilyn Monroe, Jean Harlow, and more. Writer Joanne Hartstone stars as Evie.

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See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews


“A heartbreaking look at the human cost of America's dream factory...In her performance, Hartstone disturbingly showcases the power art can wield not just over our psyches, but our physical beings...Although presented in an old-fashioned package, ‘The Girl Who Jumped Off the Hollywood Sign’ is a timely call for responsibility on the part of our self-styled dream merchants when they still have a long way to go.” Full Review

Lighting & Sound America

“The story of the tragic, would-be starlet is an old, old one, and, after a while, one begins to wonder if there is any point in this exercise in masochism…Hartstone makes Evie pitiable, but she can't quite make her interesting. Fusco's direction maintains a nice pace and, to the extent possible, keeps the brakes on Hartstone's full-throated penchant for emoting…It's hard to recommend this to anyone looking for an incisive, gripping drama.” Full Review

Theatre's Leiter Side

“Hartstone brings sincerity and sweetness to her portrayal…However, the chirpy, high-pitched Midwestern twang she affects…is not particularly enthralling. And…if Evie had Hartstone's pitchy singing voice, Hollywood wouldn't have made a major blunder in ignoring her…'The Girl'…seems more intent on reminiscing about Hollywood in the 1940s…than on developing a three-dimensional character we can believe might not only have lived through it but found it necessary to consider jumping.” Full Review

Front Row Center

“Employing a blend of fact and fiction, song and story, Ms. Hartstone transports us into a past that is nearly as unsettling as the present...Evie comes across as a powerful chronicler of the era, but not as a heroine that we are particularly rooting for...Additionally, Evie’s suicidal tendencies feel less than fully earned...Still, Ms. Hartstone’s gutsy and gusto-y performance mostly compensates for the script’s flaws.” Full Review


“Hartstone has such a fine ear that she skillfully mimics not only the vocal contralto of one of her heroes--Judy Garland--but captures the speech of the era...Evie's tales about mistreated Hollywood actresses are deeply resonant...'The Girl who jumped off the Hollywood sign’ would be impressive if written by someone other than its star. But Hartstone's writing is as powerful and nuanced as her performance...The one-woman show nicely directed by Fusco was captivating from start to finish." Full Review

Ethan Kanfer: New York Theater Reviews

"Hartstone’s writing is concise and vividly descriptive, packed with images that evoke the bustling atmosphere of golden age Hollywood. Her well-researched script is populated with entertaining archetypes...Plotwise, though, some of the show’s potential goes untapped...Harstone needs a bit more guidance from director Vince Fusco...despite these missteps, Hartstone’s warmth and charisma shines through and she is clearly a talent to watch." Full Review

The Stage (UK)

for a previous production "Hartstone, who also plays Evie, punctuates her story with familiar songs of the period that loosely parallel an otherwise straightforward narrative. Hartstone has a nasal contralto is deeply reminiscent of the period and invests plenty of drama into each number. It’s an engaging performance delivered with sensitivity but Hartstone treads a very familiar path here. Entwhistle is borrowed as a metaphor in Evie’s story whereas she’d probably have been much more valuable as the subject." Full Review


for a previous production "A one of a kind show...Joanne totally embodies the character of Evelyn, and her American accent is relaxed and flawless as we are let into Evelyn's life through her many façades. Throughout the show Hartstone plays a number of different characters who she switches seamlessly from with ease...Hartstone has the ability to milk every line in this well-written show. Her connection with the audience is instantaneous and from start to finish, both actor and audience member are one." Full Review

The Barefoot Review

for a previous production "Hartstone looks wonderful as Evie...She adopts not only a good midwest accent, but throws in different American accents for other characters. And she sings, song after song, in a classic 1940s style evocative of Billie Holiday. She creates another world in the little popup Fringe venue...It’s a remote and hard-to find venue...But it is worth the effort to be magically transported into Hartstone's faraway world of Hollywood at its ruthless fairy-story height." Full Review

Edinburgh Guide

for a previous production "Hartstone has created a marvellously evocative musical-drama...We observe Evie’s girlish glee, switching from hopeful naivety to heartfelt vulnerability as she tries desperately to be noticed....Joanne has a beautiful, soulful voice...This show has already won numerous, much deserved, awards...Joanne Hartstone is an all-round entertainer, oozing comedic, dramatic, and musical talent in this magical performance. A true super star is born." Full Review

Stage Raw

for a previous production "Cleverly directed by Vince Fusco...It’s hard to say whether Hartstone achieves greater success as a writer or as a performer. Her story incorporates personal fiction alongside juicy Hollywood history. As an actress, she carries her show through seventy minutes of Old Hollywood bliss. Her character, Mid-Atlantic dialect, and singing are all on point...The production seduces with its elements of glamour and the macabre, with finishing touches of nostalgia and vulnerability." Full Review

Adelaide Review

for a previous production "'The Girl who Jumped' has the bones of a great show about hopes, dreams, and the dark side to our fascination with celebrity culture. Hartstone is a talented actor...but you can’t really connect with Edwards. She, like a female protagonist in a ‘40s musical, is too innocent and naïve before turning very quickly down a path that isn’t so innocent. This naiveté works in old musicals but just doesn’t quite connect in a contemporary play about an industry that can be heartlessly cruel." Full Review

The Scotsman

for a previous production "Hartstone’s accent and delivery are perfectly ­evocative of the period–her straight-talkin’ speech recalls Katharine Hepburn or Rosalind Russell, while her singing voice is akin to Judy Garland’s...As she relates her compelling, all-too-believable tale, that gigantic half-H looms in the background, a constant reminder of (almost) certain tragedy to come." Full Review

Broadway Baby

for a previous production "This play critically examines the Hollywood dream and its power to simultaneously attract both the ambitious and the vulnerable...Hartstone gives a superb and sympathetic performance portraying the naivety, eccentricity and vulnerability of Evie. She uses humour to deal with a lot of difficult topics...This is a well-researched, poignant, and revealing piece of theatre that shows the extent of Hartstone’s abilities as a writer, singer, and actress." Full Review

Theatre Bubble

for a previous production "'The Girl Who Jumped Off the Hollywood Sign' brings the glamour, dreams, and desperation of early twentieth century America to life in a one-woman show with song, showmanship, and sympathy...Hartstone exudes confidence in her character and material. Her magnetism and sharp embodiments sells Evie’s humanity...A surprisingly brilliant touch to the piece is that some anecdotes given are rumours that have been debunked now...They firmly root the show in its age and peoples." Full Review

The Advertiser

for a previous production "Hartone is endearing as Evie, a sweet character who we immediately feel empathy for. She manoeuvres the stage well, nails the old Hollywood sound and transports us to MGM sets and producer meetings. There’s just the right amount of musical interludes, but the story needs sharpening. Time is wasted with 'he said, she saids' that aren’t needed when she’s already shifted character. Hartstone has clearly done her research and poured herself into this show." Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews

Indulgent, Cliched, Slow

See it if you enjoy one-person show about the history of Hollywood

Don't see it if You expect a more stimulating exploration of this topic

Also I found my mind wandering as the subject matter just seemed rather tri... Read more Read less

Clever, Slow, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if Goes thru Hollywood dreams and falls, the pain of not making a star on Hollywood Blvd, with some true facts

Don't see it if It's slow at points, and not a happy play.

Absorbing, Clever, Quirky, Interesting

See it if You want to see a different show about Old Hollywood, like period pieces and/or one-person shows.

Don't see it if You're deeply rooted in today or have no interest in hearing a wonderfully told story about someone trying to be star.

Also This show is a gem. I was deeply interested throughout the entire perf... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Indulgent, Entertaining

See it if you are a fan of the Golden Age of Hollywood and enjoy songs from that era, adequately performed.

Don't see it if you don't enjoy plays with music or are looking for a serious drama.

Clever, Slow, Entertaining, Great singing, Simple staging

See it if you enjoy stories referring to actors and singers from an era gone by perfomed in a one-woman show

Don't see it if you don't like stories about the early Hollywood age, you expect songs you'll recognize.

Also The performer did a fine job, the story was interesting, but it was a ... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Slow, Mix of fact and fiction

See it if you like tales of old Hollywood. Interesting details about studios during WWII. Less successful story of down-on-her-luck wannabee.

Don't see it if broad acting bothers you. JH plays most scenes at full-throttle emotion. And I wasn't a fan of her (harsh, nasal) voice, altho others were.

Also I went to TGWJOTHS with high expectations. The minimal set is effectiv... Read more Read less


See it if you like a one-woman show with heart. The actress puts 110% effort into her performance.

Don't see it if You need a flashy show with no rough edges. This show is the kind of out-of-the-way offering for which New York is known.

Ambitious, Interesting

See it if you like one-woman shows and/or old Hollywood

Don't see it if you like big shows with high production values or prefer shows that are very upbeat

Also The smoke effects are strangling in such a small theater. It was reall... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Great acting, Refreshing, Evocative

See it if you want to be immersed in the world of 40s Hollywood & captivated by the experience of one tragic, guileless actress in search of her dream

Don't see it if you have no interest in old-world Hollywood & the timeworn story of the dewy-eyed midwest actress in search of silver-screen stardom.

Also Whether or not you have any interest in the topic or period, to miss t... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Delightful, Quirky, Great writing, Entertaining

See it if You want a play w/music about old Hollywood that feels contemporary. You want a well written & edited solo show.

Don't see it if You prefer plays w/modern settings. You don't like plays w/music. You dislike solo shows.

Delightful, Great acting, Relevant, Great writing, Great singing

See it if you appreciate Hollywood and Greatest Generation era nostalgia mixed with their ugly truth, and music with melody and intelligent lyrics.

Don't see it if you dislike Hollywood nostalgia genre, a solo woman show with minimal set and a capella, or LES, or cannot sit 90 minutes without interval.

Clever, Disappointing, Overrated, Engaging storytelling, Non satisfying musically

See it if You live for the Golden Era of Hollywood. You support Fringe type , low budget "one person shows" for its creativity and ingenuity .

Don't see it if musically you expect to be wowed and storytelling is not enough to satisfy you. If you do not enjoy golden era tales.

Also I felt it could have been better . For the admission price, it's worth... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Slow, Great singing

See it if You would enjoy a one woman show with singing reflecting on the Golden Years of Hollywood

Don't see it if You dislike one woman shows, musicals, expect a fancy set with props, or have no interest in the Golden Age of Hollywood.

Absorbing, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Resonant, Romantic

See it if you are interested in the golden age of Hollywood, & how the studio system treated women of modest talent.

Don't see it if for you a play is only a play if it has more than 1 character. Most of the time this 1-woman show is in direct address to the audience.

Also I found the material & performance affecting. And while the show makes... Read more Read less

Indulgent, Banal, Disappointing, Cliched, Dated

See it if your ready for an evening of bad acting and singing, together with an insipid, dated story by a writer who failed script writing 101!

Don't see it if you dread the thought of listening to a woman attempting to sing like Judy Garland, but unfortunately, sounds more like Al Jolsen!

Ambitious, Great acting, Quirky, Great writing, Slow

See it if you like stories about Hollywood told by a would be starlet who is contemplating suicide by jumping from the Hollywood sign.

Don't see it if useless stage smoke annoys your bronchial tubes. You don't like well acted well written one woman shows with a story to tell.

Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Resonant, Great singing

See it if You like strong female performers with a good story to tell. She draws you in and one can relate to what it takes for success in this world

Don't see it if If you want to see a flashy Show with full sets and costumes. This is simple and direct. And works

Ambitious, Great acting, Slow, Entertaining

See it if You enjoy strong female performers in solo shows with a touch of music. Great singing voice and interesting story.

Don't see it if You don't like solo shows. You don't like your stories to meander a little bit.

Great acting, Thought-provoking, Solo show, Play with singing

See it if like solo shows with great story telling. Interesting facts of the golden age hollywood. The drive of ambition & the lengths to get noticed

Don't see it if don't like solo shows or don't like to see despair of talented people with big dreams who can't get noticed.

Enchanting, Intense, Resonant

See it if The sparkle in her eyes as she sings you her dream of becoming noticeable is hauntingly honest and mesmerizing.

Don't see it if Lots of references near the times of the roaring and the depression years. Essentially one-woman-show telling truths of abuse in Hollywood

Also You feel for her pure naivety and bubbliness. Quite lovely even with t... Read more Read less

Great writing, Disappointing, Good acting, Good staging, Weak singing

See it if You are interested in emerging work

Don't see it if You only want to see polished shows

Also Joanne Hartstone wrote a wonderful play and selected great songs to en... Read more Read less

Relevant, Great singing

See it if you like great singing of the throwback days.

Don't see it if want great staging or absorbing storyline.

Great acting, Quirky, Dated

See it if It is a great acting play about being an actress in the 40’s in a very minimal set-up. I don’t think it still easier today.

Don't see it if You don’t appreciate in an Off-Off Broadway setting.

Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Romantic

See it if If you adore Hollywood, but are especially romantic about the old studio days.

Don't see it if You need the story onstage to connect to some larger existential human drive (something more grounding than simply the desire to be famous).

Ambitious, Great acting, Intense, Cliched, Slow

See it if You love the golden age of Hollywood, you enjoy one woman shows and shows that illuminate the challenges faced by women.

Don't see it if You are hoping for a lighthearted show or a musical

Cast & Creatives (5)