|Written and directed by:||Gip Hoppe|
|Opened:||11/97 at the Belasco Theater|
|Cast:||Margaret Colin, Bill Camp, Thomas Derrah, Gretchen Egolf, Lisa Emery, Kristine Nielsen, Victor Slezak, Derek Smith, Sam Catlin and Linda Marie Larson|
This biographic lampoon of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis opens with a spoof of the highly publicized Sotheby's auction of the icon's belongings. As the auction-goers exit the stage bleating like sheep (get it?), the scenery parts to reveal Jackie herself atop a staircase. She glides down the steps to confront the audience: “What do you want from me?” Indeed, in our age of paparrazi-hounded celebritydom, it's a trenchant question. More impressively, it immediately makes theatergoers shift in their seats and maybe even feel a tad guilty for being there. Imaginative sets, featuring larger-than-life cardboard cutouts and giant, effigy-like puppets, further drive home the point that fame flattens out the object of its attention. This tongue-in-cheek whimsy emerges as the production's most consistent strength; otherwise, it swoops errantly in its tribute to the former first lady. Colin projects moments of luminescence in the lead, hinting that beyond those familiar wide-set eyes was a woman of unexpected complexity. But the rest of the production adds up to goofy satire, relying on a barrage of sight gags to make its points (for example, patriarch Joseph Kennedy is portrayed via a gargantuan puppet). The show pokes the usual jabs at Hamptons society, the East Coast upper-crust, the boyish high jinks of the Kennedy clan, the hulking vulgarity of Aristotle Onassis and the Nixon-Kennedy debates. Though Colin, like the woman she portrays, manages to maintain her dignity through it all, Jackie plays more like a Saturday Night Live skit than a full-scale production.