BLINK and You Might Miss Me: A Fringe Film Career

Larry Blum, the other guy in the room with the stars. Photo courtesy the artist.

Larry Blum seems like a very likeable guy. He’s carved out a unique career in Hollywood and New York, chronicled in this autobiographical one-man show. Every one of Blum’s brushes with fame is accompanied by a photo or video, but these is not your silly uncle’s vacation slideshow. Among the highlights:

Blum auditioned for Bob Fosse.

He was one of the lucky ones granted admittance to the yard sales where Cher got rid of her fancy gowns.

He was flashed and groped by Van Johnson.

He is the proud possessor of Lucille Ball’s driver’s license.

He was in a national touring company of A Chorus Line during the show’s first flush of success.

He appeared in the classic gay porn film L.A. Tool & Die.

He danced in TV specials with Bob Hope, Barry Manilow, Bea Arthur and Roseanne.

He was one of the original Solid Gold Dancers.

He was in the cult sensation Xanadu. On the set, he convinced Olivia Newton-John to date Matt Latanzi, her future husband.

He’s spent years as a stand-in for movie stars who won’t rehearse.

His other longtime gig is escorting winners up to the podium during TV awards ceremonies. As Blum saucily puts it, at these celebrity gatherings, “I peed next to some of the biggest members in the Screen Actors Guild,”

This is a well-written monologue with some cute puns and wry comments. The videos are just fascinating, especially the montage of scenes from soap operas where Blum’s role is to simply walk across the room in the background.

A  look at a life led in the shadows of the stars, this is also the tale of an out gay man who attended the legendary New York wake for Judy Garland’s body in 1969, danced at the hottest gay clubs of the ‘70s, and can still fit into most of the outfits from his illustrious past—garish garments which he pulls out of a trunk and hangs on a clothing rack during his show.

Some story. So why does Blum tell it as if he’s reading it out of a book he memorized? The stilted, rote delivery undoes what otherwise would be an exceptional monologue. If his story has you wondering why he always danced or stood in the background and never made it as an actor, Blum’s performance—as himself!—in BLINK and You Might Miss Me provides an unmissable clue.

BLINK and You Might Miss Me. June 25. Thatre Asylum. Hollywood Fringe.

Christopher Arnott

Christopher Arnott has scribbled about theater in Connecticut for over 25 years, mainly for the New Haven Advocate. He blogs as New Haven Theater Jerk.

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