Professional Nonprofit Theater on Martha's Vineyard
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24 Church Street, Box 2452, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568 | 508-696-6300
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Patricia Neal Stage
Thursday - Sunday at 7:30 pm

Elsa Lanchester Tonight!


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“There is no such thing as a person that nothing has happened to, and each person’s story is as different as his fingertips.”—Elsa Lanchester

Charlotte Booker has been fascinated with Elsa Lanchester since childhood. When she read ELSA LANCHESTER HERSELF, the 1983 autobiography, she realized there was SO much more to Elsa than the Bride of Frankenstein and Katie Nana from Mary Poppins.  Charlotte imagined someday playing the iconic character actress—warts and all.

How does a character actress become a leading lady? Elsa Lanchester solved that problem decades ago by creating a one-woman show called ELSA LANCHESTER HERSELF, and played herself to great acclaim in theatres, nightclubs, and cabarets all over the United States and Canada, for decades.  Following Elsa’s example, Charlotte Booker wrote and performs in a new solo show, playing Elsa, herself. This play (with music) covers the eccentric Oscar-nominated actress’s fascinating life, roles, and her 30-year marriage to Charles Laughton.

A LOT of things happened to Elsa Lanchester, and she loved to talk and sing about them.  Charlotte Booker channels Elsa in ELSA LANCHESTER TONIGHT!, a new solo play. Mark Nutter accompanies on the piano.

Charlotte Booker

Charlotte Booker is an actress/writer/teacher with over forty years' experience on stage, film, and television. She is a proud member of Actors Equity Association, SAG-AFTRA, and the Dramatists Guild. Ms. Booker had the singular privilege of appearing in both Broadway revivals of Garson Kanin's BORN YESTERDAY: the first with Ed Asner and Madeline Kahn, and the 2011 production starring Robert Sean Leonard, Jim Belushi, and Nina Arianda. Other New York stage credits include: TAKE ME BACK, LEAVE ME GREEN, FUGUE, FIVE GENOCIDES, DEATHBED, PSYCHO BEACH PARTY, and BITCH!, which she also wrote.

​A veteran of regional theatre, she originated roles in the world premieres of the musicals QUILTERS (Denver Center, Edinburgh and Dublin Festivals) and THREE SONGS (Fremont Center, L.A.); as well as the plays VILLA AMERICA (Williamstown Theatre Festival), FRANKENSTEIN (St. Louis Rep), and DUSTY AND THE BIG BAD WORLD (Denver Center). She appeared in the American premieres of VISITORS (Martha's Vineyard Playhouse), MAN OF THE MOMENT (Cleveland Playhouse), THINGS WE DO FOR LOVE (Old Globe), and CLOUDS (Philadelphia Drama Guild). She has played leading roles at the Long Wharf, Yale Rep, Hartford Stage, the Alley Theatre, Baltimore Center Stage, and the Paper Mill, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and Cincinnati Playhouses, among many others, and garnered rave reviews as Ann Landers in David Rambo's solo play THE LADY WITH ALL THE ANSWERS at Capital Rep, Hartford Theaterworks, and Riverside Theatre in Florida.

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