You might have seen Jimmy Fowlie, the star of So Long Boulder City, on a poster in Greenwich Village. He’s standing high above the midnight Los Angeles cityscape, wearing high heels and an elegant yellow dress, the Hollywood sign small but distinctive in the distance. The poster is an obvious parody of La La Land (a lamp post is officially synonymous with a movie), the Oscar-gobbling musical drama that had Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling waltzing through the streets.
“I think for some tourists, seeing my poster is slightly alarming,” said Fowlie, a writer/actor/comedian based in LA. “I’ve been told that in drag I actually look kind of upsetting.”
But the poster is actually quite affirming, when you consider that the show – a parody of the unseen, one-woman performance that Mia Dolan (Stone) delivers in La La Land – started as a Facebook post.
After watching La La Land for a second time in theaters, Fowlie asked his online following if he should dream up the scene that helped launch Dolan’s career in the film (despite the fact that it garnered an apathetic response from the in-house audience, and a negative review in a conversation overheard backstage).
And they approved. So instead of spending his summer watching Game of Thrones or trying to find a boyfriend, as he originally planned, Fowlie called up Jordan Black (Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Mindy Project), and asked if he would co-write and direct. Three weeks later they had a script.
“We just had the best time writing it,” said Fowlie. “We were just cracking each other up just writing the stupidest stuff.”
Now, after a successful run in Los Angeles, which included sold out performances and a positive review from Variety, the show has finally arrived off-Broadway.
“I never in a million years would have thought that I’d be in New York City preparing eight shows a week for two months,” said Fowlie. “It’s insane.”
The co-writers have tweaked the script slightly, removing some of the obscure L.A. references that only Hollywood insiders would understand. But the show still maintains its comedic backbone, poking fun at self-serious actors, Hollywood, and the inherent narcissism of one-person shows.
“Our goal when we put this show together was to do it for one night, for our friends, just as a goof,” said Black, who has written for SNL in the past. “Anything after that has been such an extra bonus.”
You can catch So Long Boulder City at the SubCulture Theater (45 Bleecker Street) from December 1 to January 7. Tickets start as low as $36 with premium seats also available.