Best Bette at Stage West
This week’s “Stage” page features an interview with Morgana Shaw, North Texas actor-singer-choreographer-occasional Bette Davis interpreter. Taking a break from her prolific film and TV career, she stars in Stage West’s regional premiere of the “middle age blues” dramedy This by Melissa James Gibson.
As the story notes, Shaw and Dallas Summer Musicals president Michael Jenkins are still hoping to take Camilla Carr’s one-woman play All About Bette (with Shaw as Davis) to Broadway. As a good luck gesture, here are three favorite scenes from the redoubtable Davis’s long and storied movie career. Each has a different flavor of over-emoting.
Angry Bette calls co-star Leslie Howard “a cad, a dirty swine, and a cripple” (his character is club-footed) in 1934’s Of Human Bondage. Bored Bette trashes co-star Joseph Cotten in the very excellent 1949 domestic saga Beyond the Forest. Horrified Bette drowns and then rescues her young charge (while apparently wearing Groucho Marx’s eyebrows) in the underrated 1965 psychological thriller The Nanny.