irst the T-shirt. Now the play. Hollywood’s favorite alleged klepto is the subject of the one-man show, “My Name Is Winona and I’m a Shoplifter,” opening tonight at West Hollywood’s Zephyr Theater, just hours after Ryder’s pretrial hearing. “I initially thought this would be a piece of fluff,” says writer Michael Kearns. “But it also became a character study. Winona’s really a tragic figure. I looked at the potential reasons why she could’ve shoplifted. Whether she did or not is moot.”

Throughout the performance actor-in-drag Rex Lee muses on Ryder’s friendships with Kevyn Aucoin and Timothy Leary, her obsession with “The Catcher in the Rye,” her many famous boyfriends and a possible love-match with playboy Steve Bing, a man with both the financial means and movie business savvy needed to revive her career.

This story first appeared in the July 15, 2002 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

After all, according to Kearns, it’s not just the arrest that’s bringing her down. “‘Mr. Deeds!’” he cries. “I think that film and the alleged shoplifting are all part of the same fabric, don’t you?”

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