robinjohnson.net...


Who's That Girl?

Who's that tough angry woman with the gun? Could it possibly be... ?

No. It's not. That's Kittson O'Neill playing Gayle, with Brian O'Halloran as Hank, in New Jersey Repertory Company's 2001 production of Michael T. Folie's An Unhappy Woman.

Why is this here? Because An Unhappy Woman was first produced in 1997 by Moving Arts in Los Angeles, and Gayle (the title role) was played by Robin Johnson. It ran from July 11 through August 31 at Moving Arts in Los Angeles. Julio Martinez reviewed it in the Thursday, August 7, 1998 Variety:

... the six-member cast works very hard to bring some credibility to these goings-on 
but are ultimately defeated by Folie's pseudo-comic book adventures that neutralize 
the impact of a truly captivating character... Played to the acid-tongued, misanthropic 
hilt by [Robin] Johnson (the popular traffic reporter on KFWB News Radio), Gayle is 
a self-admitted "raging bitch on wheels" who keeps the world at bay with her lacerating 
tongue and ready trigger finger.


She is totally unprepared for the gentle, soft-spoken Hank (the wonderfully understated 
Richard Ruyle), who sails right over her barbed wire demeanor and into her heart.

The interplay between the two is hilarious, as Hank woos, wines, dines and beds her much 
to Gayle's bewildered consternation. She simply has no defenses against someone like him.

Unfortunately, the romantic adventures of Gayle and Hank then get completely obliterated 
by the playwright's sojourn into a U.S. government plot to control its disgruntled citizenry 
with a genetically engineered happiness drug...

-- That last part seems to be the actual point, and plot, of the play. For some reason, Mr. Martinez seems to have wanted less story and more Robin :)

The play was "was nominated for two L. A. Weekly Theatre Awards," 1 and in April 1998, Robin won The LA Weekly Theater Award for Leading Female Performance. 2 The award was also noted in the April 22, 1998 Playbill. 3

So, again... why is there a picture of Kittson O'Neill here? Simple. Other than the three articles linked above, I can't find any concrete evidence that it happened. No pictures, no programs, no posters, nothing.

NJ Rep, however, documented their production pretty well. So go here to get an idea of what the show looked like, and read some more sympathetic reviews to get a better idea of what the show was about... and imagine what Robin's award-winning performance must have been like.

The play has since been retitled by its author "Love in the Insecurity Zone."


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The picture above from An Unhappy Woman is ©New Jersey Repertory Company.

Thanks again Binky for finding the Variety review.