Home #Hwoodtimes Call Me Elizabeth Triumphs by Combining Cerebral Precision and Emotional Depth

Call Me Elizabeth Triumphs by Combining Cerebral Precision and Emotional Depth

At the Sierra Madre Playhouse, Kayla Boye is like an Elizabeth Taylor archeologist, uncovering a dynamic part of the legend the tabloids forgot through her writing and performance.

By John Lavitt

Sierra Madre, California (The Hollywood Times) 02/20/2023 – When it comes to realizing a one-person show, it seems to work best when the actor is also the writer/creator of the piece. By doing the hard work of researching and writing, the actor dives deeper into the character and finds her authentic voice. Such success is particularly true when the character being played is based on a real person whose life can be delved into during the creative process. In Call Me Elizabeth, Kayla Boye triumphs by combining the cerebral precision of creative research with the emotional depth of fine acting.

There is so much I want to say about the details of the performance, but there is so much more that I do not want to give away. Despite Elizabeth Taylor being tabloid fodder for her entire career, the show managed to unearth parts of the legend’s story that I found utterly surprising. Indeed, perhaps the show’s greatest success are the choices made during its creation.

Beyond being a dead ringer for a young Elizabeth Taylor, Kayla Boye proves to be creatively inspired as a researcher and writer. What she reveals opens doors into the legend’s character and makeup as a human being. She restores Elizabeth’s humanity by reconnecting the audience to the human being who, behind the enormity of the legend, held on for dear life.

Kayla Boye in CALL ME ELIZABETH (Photo: Kachi Mozie)

By setting the timeline right before Elizabeth Taylor gets involved with Richard Burton on the set of Cleopatra, her early life, which was so often ignored, is highlighted. For example, who knew Elizabeth Taylor was born in Great Britain to socially prominent American parents? Thus, she is considered a British and American actress. Also, her treatment as a child star at MGM sounds downright brutal, with the studio isolating the poor girl from adults and children alike. Overall, Kayla Boye manages to reveal the whirlwind of the young woman’s life while also uncovering a good sense of why she managed to come back again and again.

As directed by Erin Kraft, Kayla Boye’s performance hits many emotional highs and lows. It is varied and intense, with a profound sense of humanity from beginning to end. Such a performance is engendered by the archeological research done by Kayla Boye. The work she did to create the show brings her subject to life. For the first time, Elizabeth Taylor is not a tabloid highlight but a strong yet vulnerable woman, hoping to find love while she struggles to keep her enormous life balanced and in place. Both Elizabeth’s and Kayla’s mutual struggle and determination are worthy of the applause they receive.