Theater archives

Christina Crawford Improves Her Stage Act


When I saw it recently, Christina Crawford‘s presentation Surviving Mommie Dearest (at the Snapple Theater Center) was a little bizarre because the bulk of it involved her showing a documentary that includes lots of her facing the camera and telling stories about mama, Joan Crawford. Christina sauntered out a few times to make comments over the film, but her main stage time came afterwards, when she fielded audience questions for a few minutes, making one wonder why she didn’t just appear live throughout the entire show.

Fortunately, that’s been changed. The show’s rep tells me that Christina now stays onstage a lot and makes more comments over the film (like “Wasn’t I adorable?” as baby pictures are shown or identifying famous names when her birthday party home video is being seen).

Says the rep: “When asked about the movie, she politely explains that she didn’t write the script and saw it once, over 30 years ago.

“People yell out ‘I can quote the movie’ and she says, ‘I’m sure you can. However, you’re here to see me and ask me questions’. And the questions are wonderful.”

I’m glad it’s all more polite. The night I went, I raised my hand and asked about whether Mommie Dearest star Faye Dunaway had a right to be mad, and Christina snapped at me. (And that’s extra weird since I’m the one who provided the evidence that Helen Hayes knew Joan was a bad mother, which becomes corroboration in the documentary.)

Also, when someone else wondered if she’d read Mommie’s book, Christina weirdly said, “My reading material is my own business.” Huh? So she’ll divulge everything about Joan–including the contention that she killed her last husband–but won’t say if she herself has read My Way of Life?

Oh, well. I easily forgive offbeat behavior from an abuse victim. And I’m glad Surviving Mommie Dearest is more survivable.