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"The Jackie Look" Stars Karen Finley at the Laurie Beechman Theatre
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"The Jackie Look" Stars Karen Finley at the Laurie Beechman Theatre

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The Jackie Look

Karen Finley
(Also Director and Creator)
Laurie Beechman Theatre
West Bank Café
407 West 42nd Street

Video: Amy Khoshbin
Costumes: Becky Hubbert
Hair & Makeup: Darlene Dannenfelser
Press: (Spin Cycle Website)

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
February 27, 2010

Karen Finley’s The Jackie Look at the dinner theatre called Laurie Beechman Theatre in West Bank Café, is a tasteless, unsettling rant, with Ms. Finley wearing Jackie Kennedy-styled white slacks, navy jacket, white pearls, and a terrible wig. Ms. Finley stands at a lectern, as the audience wines and dines, and shows bloody Zapruder film clips, television clips, and Dallas archival museum slides, all relating to the assassination of President Kennedy in 1963. Ms. Finley plays the role of Jackie Kennedy with classless disregard for the sanctity of a tragic murder, the murder of Mrs. Kennedy’s husband, and taunts and mimics Mrs. Kennedy through whispery impersonations and unabashed irreverence. I have no problem with political humor, nor humor or satire about Presidential families.

The endless succession of repetitive slides, of that fateful November Dallas day, were stuck in rewind. Then, inter-wound within these slides and breathy chatter, were film clips and photos of Coretta Scott King, after her own husband’s assassination, Caroline and John Jr., from 1963, and a rhythmic mocking of Caroline’s “You know” tic. Further exploitation of tragic national events was interspersed with tabloid news, Hurricane Katrina, more Zapruder, and a photo-montage-monologue about Michelle Obama’s arms, “about a woman not being as perfect as her arms”, then more on the Obamas. I was glad I didn’t order food, as this show was sickening.

At one point, Ms. Finley seemed to address technicians, perhaps hinting that films were out of order or on constant rewind, but better film sequences would have served little purpose, as her theme was so entrenched at inarticulate taunting of political wives and widows. Teddy Kennedy, recently deceased, as well as Marilyn Monroe, was swept into her net, plus Robert Kennedy, EBAY, and then rewind. Ms. Finley exuded little to no talent, and she kept losing her place, again to no obvious difference. I was thrilled to get my check and leave. I had looked forward to political humor and satire, with some sense of professionalism. This show was not only beneath a home party spoof, it was worthless.

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For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at