Evolving ‘Project Lohan’ derived from headlines 

Checkered history: D’Arcy Drollinger created, and plays the newsmaking title character, in “Project Lohan.” - COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy Photo
  • Checkered history: D’Arcy Drollinger created, and plays the newsmaking title character, in “Project Lohan.”

Lindsay Lohan: Misunderstood celeb or just a hot mess?

It’s the question longtime local performer D’Arcy Drollinger poses in the West Coast premiere of the comedically savage “Project Lohan,” opening today in a new San Francisco performance space called The Costume Shop.

Certainly La Lohan’s headline-grabbing, emotional downward spirals over the last few years were the inspiration for this romp. But Drollinger — or just D’Arcy, as he likes to be called — took creative leaps in crafting a show about the Disney-starlet-turned-convicted-felon-turned-resurrected-celebutante.

“I was reading an article about her in magazines [in New York], and I thought, ‘Oh, this could be an idea for a show,’” he recalls. “It had all the makings for a Greek tragedy or a Shakesperean melodrama. And then I thought, ‘I don’t even need to write it. It’s already written. It’s been in all the press. I realized that I could lay with it in a way with her interviews.’”

As a result, the show was constructed using only found quotes, headlines and commentary from media sources. Better still, it will updated nightly, evolving (or devolving) as Lohan’s life does.

It’s a clever concept, and piecing it together was mindbending.

“I went to every gossip website and searched ‘Lindsay Lohan’ and pulled all the stories I could,” Drollinger says.

“When you start to look at everything compiled together, it’s hilarious how many lawsuits, how many times she has thrown drinks at people and then, you are kind of struck with this idea that this woman is completely imploding and dealing with drug addiction and horrible parents.  

“But it does get kind of poignant in the comedy,” he adds.

 Drollinger also portrays Lohan in “a kind of three-ring circus” show, which has a cast of six playing dozens of characters and making roughly 172 costume changes.

One question lingers: What is the fascination with Lohan?

“I think we’re obsessed with the fragile part of her,” he says. “She’s kind of like those underdog women — Judy Garland, Liza Minnelli — that fall and get back up. In this culture, we love to see somebody topple and then we love to see them rise from the ashes. It’s that hero’s journey.

“But she has a kind of resilience,” he adds. “And the show winds up being less about her than it is about our relationship with ‘celebrity.’”


IF YOU GO: Project Lohan

  • Where: The Costume Shop, 1117 Market St., S.F.
  • When: 8 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays; 7 p.m. Sundays, closes Aug. 19
  • Tickets $25 to $30
  • Contact: (800) 838-3006; www.brownpapertickets.com

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Greg Archer

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