The Mint Theatre‘s revival of Maurine Dallas Watkins’ backstage comedy So Help Me God! at the Lucille Lortel Theater (through December 20) stars Kristen Johnston (of 3rd Rock from the Sun fame), who’s something of a riff on the figure of the classic diva in her own right, but her character Lily Darnley shares the stage with some of the grandest female actors ever. Playblog caught up with the show’s scenic designer, Bill Clarke, and asked him about the show’s design, whose most eye-popping feature is the set of 36 famous actresses’ eyes (including Mae West, Joan Crawford, Greta Garbo, Veronica Lake, Kim Basinger, Salma Hayek and Madonna) that make up the proscenium (pictured above, click here for a bigger image with names to match all the eyes).
Clarke’s explanation of the idea behind the design is interesting—situating Johnston’s character in a specifically American lineage of people who are addicted to the limelight—but what’s more impressive is that he cobbled it together in a couple of days, or ”Quite close to our first preview actually!”, as he told Playblog. I’d like to know how come Bette Davis’ planet-sized eyes didn’t make it in.