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'Looped' confirmed for Broadway in March

December 10, 2009 |  3:30 pm

Harper 

Rhoda is officially heading back to the Big Apple.

Producers of the play "Looped" have announced they are opening the show on Broadway with Emmy-winning actress Valerie Harper in the lead role as force-of-nature celebrity Tallulah Bankhead. Harper originated the role in the comedy's world premiere at the Pasadena Playhouse in 2008.

Harper, who has won Emmys for her roles in TV's "Rhoda" and "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," plays Bankhead near the end of her acting career when she is called in to loop a line of dialogue for what would ultimately be her last movie.

"Looped," written by Matthew Lombardo, is scheduled to open March 14 at the Lyceum Theatre. Rob Ruggiero, who staged the Pasadena Playhouse production, is set to direct the Broadway version of the play.

In his review, Times theater critic Charles McNulty wrote that Harper plays Bankhead "with an all-out camp attack that softens over time into something more recognizably human."

He added that Harper "has a field day relighting the soul of this brassy, bourbon-soaked broad. The Dixie accent is in place, the wig has just the right wave, and the way the mink is thrown around her shoulders lets us know she's ready for insouciant battle."

-- David Ng

Photo: Valerie Harper in "Looped" at the Pasadena Playhouse in 2008. Credit: Los Angeles Times

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