The Mountain Mail
Colorado TINTS and Theatrix USA will present “Stand Still and Look Stupid,” a one-woman play about Austrian-born American actress Hedy Lamarr, at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 14 at Vino Salida Wine Cellars, 10495 CR 120, Poncha Springs.
Tickets are $20 and will include a complimentary glass of wine. Recommended age for viewing the play is at least 16 years old.
Emily Ebertz will portray Lamarr in the play written by Mike Broemmel, which originally went into off-Broadway production in 2016. The story spans the life of Lamarr from birth to death with special highlights of her technological achievements and love life in Hollywood.
One of Broemmel’s other plays, “Call Me Mrs. Evers,” will be staged Feb. 15 at A Church in Salida.
Ebertz has performed as Lamarr since December 2016. She previously played this role in Salida, Denver and Belfast, Ireland, at Féile an Phobail 2019, the largest arts festival in Northern Ireland.
Additional Denver productions she has been involved with include “The Thanksgiving Play,” “Sweeney Todd” and “The Mrs. Wheatland Pageant.”
To prepare for the role, Ebertz said she watched several videos of Lamarr in interviews, game shows and late-night talk shows on YouTube to get a comprehensive idea of her personality, mannerisms and accent. She also watched some of her movies, but she wanted to focus more on her as a person rather than as a character.
Ebertz is originally from Woodbury, Minnesota. She graduated from Luther College in Iowa in 2015 with a degree in theater and psychology. She has been performing ever since then.
She said her favorite aspect of the show is that the performance covers a “really important woman in history that no one really knows about.” Ebertz said there were some mysterious parts of Lamarr’s life that required creative liberties to be taken in the writing to provide a sense of closure, but other than that the show is faithful to Lamarr’s life story and has even been produced with permission by Lamarr’s estate.
A free performance of the show will also take place Feb. 13 at Salida Middle School.
According to a 2017 documentary about Lamarr called “Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story,” Lamarr and co-inventor George Antheil filed a patent in 1941 for frequency-hopping technology to be used in war-time radio messages so Nazis could not detect Allied torpedoes.
Their invention would later be essential in development of the same technology used for Wi-Fi, GPS and Bluetooth devices. Lamarr and Antheil were inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2014.