Annette Bening Begins Ruth Draper Evening

I find it dispiriting that there’s virtually nothing to hear of Ruth Draper (1884-1956) on YouTube. Draper was a monologuist extraordinaire, whose routines like “The Italian Lesson” are witty gems of sophisticated satire. Draper’s work is beloved by such as Mike Nichols, Emma Thompson, and Lily Tomlin. Annette Bening is also a devotee, so much so that she is currently performing “Ruth Draper’s Monologues” at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles. One has to admire Bening: for years, she has done serious theatre in Tinseltown, forcing show-biz types to spend an evening with Ibsen or Chekhov. Now that Miss Bening’s children are reared, isn’t it time that she returned to Broadway?

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