If someone has ever asked you for more cowbell or you’ve danced along to Fatboy Slim’s, “Weapon of choice,” then you’ve most likely heard of Christopher Walken. Chances are you’ve even tried out your own Walken impersonation. “All About Walken” is a play running in its third year which serves as both homage and send-up to the actor who has appeared in over ninety movies spanning over forty years.
Located at Theatre 68 on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, “All About Walken” stars eight performers paying tribute and impersonating Christopher Walken. The brainchild of director and actor Patrick O’ Sullivan, “All About Walken,” is an extremely funny and entertaining piece which chronicles Walken’s rise from working in his family’s small New York bakery to many of his notable film roles.
The impersonations themselves range from spot-on to over-the-top, but all are entertaining. While each actor seems to have mastered Walken’s eccentric disregard for punctuation and peculiar cadence of speech, each brings something unique to the role. Amy Kelly offers Walken’s take on feminine hygiene products in addition to her scene-stealing impersonations of other celebrities, while Lily Holleman has mastered Walken’s unblinking intensity and gaze.
Patrick O’ Sullivan starts up the evening with an enthusiastic rendition of “These boots are made for?Walken” and leads the audience in the pronunciation of Walken-esque vowels. It only gets better as each actor seems to try and outdo the others with their Walken impersonations as the night goes on.
The real highlight comes when all of the Walkens are brought on stage, and O’ Sullivan invites the audience to select a movie not starring Christopher Walken to be acted out by the Walkens.
The improvisations are sometimes better then the rehearsed acts, and the movie suggestions force the actors to briefly become Walken as he might appear in those roles. Our audience requested “Striptease” and “Steel Magnolias,” and I don’t think anyone was disappointed by the results.
While it seems most Walken movies are covered in the evening, (in addition to a few you’ve probably forgotten about) conspicuously absent were impersonations of Walken’s recent roles in “Hairspray” and “Balls of Fury.”
While not exactly Walken classics, the latter in particular seems readymade for Walken impersonations. Nevertheless, at just over an hour, the show ends just as the jokes are beginning to get old, and it climaxes with a dance number that makes you wish the show were actually fifteen minutes longer.
Either way, for Walken devotees or the casual viewer, you’ll more then likely leave satisfied and find yourself offering your own impressions on the way home.