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The Arts Intel Report

A Cultural Compass
For the World Traveler
A Cultural Compass
For the World Traveler

Ode to the Wasp Woman

Oct 30, 2023 – Jan 31, 2024
339 W 47th Street, New York, NY 10036

Forget Marilyn Monroe and James Dean, this homage to 1950s Hollywood focuses on the film industry’s unsung heroes: B-list actors. Written by screenwriter Rider McDowell, Ode to the Wasp Woman looks at the final 48 hours of four middling actors: Susan Cabot, star of the cult classic The Wasp Woman; George Reeves, who played Superman on television; Carl Switzer, of the Our Gang comedies; and Bride of the Gorilla’s Barbara Payton. Each one had a particularly tragic end: suicide, two murders, and alcohol-induced liver failure. The seedy side of Hollywood, and the dreams of fame it kills, play out in one act. —Jensen Davis