SHERMAN OAKS—On a sunny California afternoon, Karen Black, the consummate actress and hostess, proved she’s still as charming as the first time we laid eyes on her. Whether it was on Broadway in the ’60s or on the silver screen in “The Prime Time,” in 1959, the Oscar-nominated star still has the spark that contributed to her extraordinary star power. 

Karen is completing an incredible run on stage at the Edgemar Theatre in Santa Monica in Henry Jaglom’s “Just 45 Minutes From Broadway.” Black was asked by the playwright Jaglom to step in for Diane Salinger when she had to leave the stage to complete a project in which she was previously committed. Fans and critics have been blown away by Karen’s powerful performance and to join the play was a no-brainer for the raven-haired beauty. “I was not in L.A. I was in Michigan with my husband [Stephen Eckelberry] who was making ”˜Mosquito Man’ when the call came in. Henry was stunned that I so quickly agreed to play the part for a few months. But I just love this part, and I love my co-stars,” says Karen Black. Black immediately blended with the cast, even though her six rehearsals were not with all the cast members at the same time. When asked what was most difficult for her in this part, Black laughed then replied, “My hair. It’s so curly, it’s hard to fix it for the play!”

The prolific actress has recently completed work on several films and television roles. For movies, Black just wrapped “Maria My Love” and “Some Guy Who Kills People.” Karen was very excited to describe her title role in “Maria.” “I play a character I’ve never played before. Maria is an animal hoarder. It was so fascinating playing the part. I like to play real people, things that really happen in some people’s lives is fascinating to me as a performer. Director Jasmine McGlade Chazelle was very good. The part was well written, and I really got into the role,” said Black. “As for ”˜Some Guy Who Kills People,’ that was another wonderful part I loved doing. Jack Perez directed the film. Another great director I loved working with. This is a comedy thriller.” Black works opposite Kevin Corrigan and Barry Bostwick, who portrays the sheriff in this film.

Some things that are very fascinating about Karen Black are her unending ability to transform herself to play any role and her tireless desire to be a working actress. Co-star Tanna Frederick, who has worked with Black in “Hollywood Dreams,” “Irene in Time” and now in “Just 45 Minutes From Broadway,” tells Canyon News, “I was so excited when Karen stepped into the role in our play. She and Diane are both great actresses and playing opposite them both has kept me on my toes. Karen plays it differently, but it works just as much. She’s not only an actress, she’s a star, that is what I came to Hollywood to do. Work with stars, Tommy.”

In addition to winning Best Actress at a number of film festivals in Toronto and Philadelphia. It was for “Nothing Special” that Karen won Best Actress at last weekend’s Iowa Independent Film Festival. The film by director Andrea Garcia Combs was a huge hit with the audience. Black plays a bipolar mother trying to deal with many issues.

What’s next for the busy actress, wife and mother? “I do have a busy end of summer and fall, Tommy. In September I’ll be having a family reunion, and just two days after finishing the play on August 1, I’ll be flying to Maine to begin work on a new project and completing it in October in Macon, Georgia,” said the Golden Globe winner, Karen Black.

“Just 45 Minutes From Broadway” continues its run at the Edgemar Theatre after Karen Black departs the role.

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