Louise DuArt is known as a comedian. Which is why her latest one-woman show, a thinly veiled version of real life events here on Martha’s Vineyard, is so remarkable. Who else could make comedy out of being the victim of a con artist?
“It was SQuire’s idea,” she said, referring to her husband SQuire Rushnell. “He said, ‘put your fingers to the keyboard and see what comes out.’”
The result is Betrayal being performed on Saturday, Nov. 17, at 7:30 p.m. at Dreamland in Oak Bluffs. Ms. DuArt will be recreating many of her legendary characters including George Burns, Judge Judy, Katharine Hepburn and even Bart Simpson.
If this sounds confusing — how Katharine Hepburn fits into a true story that took place on the Vineyard where many on the Island, including Ms. DuArt and her husband’s non-profit organization Network of Neighbors, were conned out of large amounts of money by a supposed friend — think of it as the creative process meets cautionary tale.
“We talk about movies and books where betrayal was the central plot,” Ms. DuArt said. “It’s a rollicking time, but we also tell the story of what happened to our Island when these evildoers came to town.”
“I’m making lemons out of lemonade,” she added.
The show is a benefit for Network of Neighbors, the coffers of which were depleted in the scam.
“JB Blau [the owner of Dreamland] has been great, donating the space,” Ms. DuArt said. Many others from the Island have also donated their resources and time to make sure the show goes on.
“It’s the community of Islanders who came together, like It’s a Wonderful Life where George Bailey had problems with Mr. Potter,” Ms. DuArt said.
For Ms. DuArt the show is also about helping fellow Islanders and herself move past this incident.
“We will have people in the audience who have been hurt by this and this will help give it closure,” she said. “We need to be able to put this behind us.”
Her lawyer, who has represented many Islanders in this case, free of charge, is even flying in to see the show.
“He’s like Clarence [the angel in It’s a Wonderful Life],” Ms. DuArt said. “Our guardian angel.”
A lawyer with a heart of gold; now there’s a showstopper.