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Realism Takes Toll

November 07, 1994|NANCY CHURNIN

SAN DIEGO — The wrestling onstage at "Turbo Tanzi" looks real, and it is, despite the choreography.

A bump is still a bump and a fall is still a fall, and the fighters earn the sweat that glistens from their bodies at the end of the show. One of those falls put Laurie Williams, who plays Tanzi, out of the play for four performances last weekend.

"It was the big fight between Dean (the husband) and Tanzi," Williams, 27, said of the fall that put her temporarily out of commission. "It's my final victory move where I fly off his shoulder and I just landed wrong. But I went on to finish the show. It hurt much more the next day."

The first doctor she went to said her arm was fractured and put it in a temporary cast. The Oct. 29 show and the Oct. 30 matinee were canceled until the understudy could make it back to town for the Sunday and Tuesday evening performances.

Unhappy being out of the show, Williams went to a sports specialist, who judged it to be a sprain rather than a fracture. He taped it up, sent her for therapy, and the 5-foot-4, 110-pound Williams was back wrestling Wednesday.

Since she's been back in the ring, however, she's torn some ligament in her knee, requiring more tape.

"There's a fine line between a wrestler and a mummy," she said, ruefully.

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