There was a disturbing moment during last night’s US premiere of “Anna Nicole: The Opera” at BAM.
The story is not only about Anna Nicole Smith’s life, but also the spectacle of it. “The camera” becomes an anthropomorphized character observing her 1994 marriage to the Texas oil billionaire, J. Howard Marshall II. Black-clad, human cameras slowly multiply until there are 26 of them crowded on-stage for the comic, yet affecting, finale. The one assigned to permanently hover over baby Dannielynn’s carriage is especially creepy.
As a reporter, I covered Anna Nicole for the last nine years of her life: first, as a plausible glamour model for Guess jeans, then increasingly as the kind of mobile train wreck for which our culture developed such an appetite, especially in its young female celebrities.
So it was about the time that the cameras started raking through her garbage on stage that I realized, “oh, I guess that was me.” Read More