Actor Marilu Henner Next to Perform at the Orinda Theatre

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(Jeff Katz, Photographer)
Live at the Orinda Concert Series features Marilu Henner, who brings her one-woman show, "Looking Back, Moving Forward" to the Orinda Theatre, March 6 at 5 p.m.

    She won’t be taking a taxi to the theater, but actor Marilu Henner will certainly be talking about her role in the 1978 hit TV sitcom series, Taxi during her one-woman show at the Orinda Theatre March 6 at 5 p.m. for the “Live at the Orinda” concert series.
    Henner, not a Bay Area stranger, is excited to perform in Orinda for the first time. “I’ve never been there, but it looks beautiful,” said Henner, 69.
    Her show, called Looking Back; Moving Forward, encompasses her acting career, books she’s written, health, relationships and much more.
    During the pandemic, Henner stayed busy, with work on nine films and 28 performances of her one-woman show so far.
    “People seem to really love the stories and the songs that are connected to the stories,” she said. “People feel like ‘wow, I knew you did this, but I didn’t know you did that.’ So, everybody, I think, is surprised to learn some things about my life.”
    She added, “And people feel like a part of their lives have been touched too, because I’m just a girl from the neighborhood in Chicago and talk about stories of growing up, the wonderful people I’ve worked with and the crazy memory thing.”
    The crazy memory thing is called Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory (HSAM), and fewer than 70 people in the world have it.
    Individuals diagnosed with HSAM can recall details of daily experiences which have occurred over previous decades with considerable accuracy.
    “During the show, I have fun with the audience where I pull a date out and tell them what day of the week it was, what I was doing on that day and what song was popular at the time!”
    Henner grew up surrounded by entertainment.
    “Because my family had a dancing school in the backyard, I grew up singing and dancing my whole life and I started doing community theater,” said Henner, currently in New Orleans working on a live action Disney film called “Haunted Mansion” with castmates Danny DeVito, LaKeith Stanfield, Tiffany Haddish, Owen Wilson and Rosario Dawson.
    Henner talks about how community theater helped pave her way to success.
    “When I was 15, I did a show with someone I really bonded with – he was 10 years older than I and in the advertising business,” she said. “Then he called me two years later and said, ‘Henner I’ve written a show that may never get off the ground. We’re going to perform it in the converted trolley barn, and I wrote it about the kids I went to high school with. It’s called Grease.’”
    Henner went on to do Grease for the National Company and moved out to Los Angeles where she started doing movies. A month later, she heard from a certain casting director.
    “Joel Thurm! He liked me, so he brought me in for ‘Taxi’ even though I was really wrong for their original description of Elaine,” said Henner.
    A five-time Golden Globe nominee, Henner has starred in 73 films, seven Broadway shows and two hit sitcoms. Henner’s talents run deep as an actor, producer, radio host, singer, podcaster and a New York Times best selling author of 10 books. But there’s one thing Henner said she can’t do.
    “You don’t want me on your team in Pictionary; unless it’s about hair and make-up,” she said. “I know the things I do well and love to do and I know the things I don’t do well!”
    For more information and tickets, visit www.orindamovies.com.

Charleen Earley can be reached at editor@theorindanews.com.

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