Broadway To Vegas
SHOW REVIEWS CELEBRITY INTERVIEWS GOSSIP NEWS
Copyright: April 19, 1999
By: Laura Deni
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KEVIN SPACEY CRASHES PARTY
Kevin Spacey, currently starring in The Iceman Cometh has received a Best Actor
nomination from the Outer Critics Circle for his portrayal of Hickey.
Kevin guested on The David Letterman Show where he not only did devastating
impersonations of Jack Lemmon and Johnny Carson, but confessed that when he was 19 he
crashed a party by doing such a convincing impersonation of Johnny Carson that he convinced a
bouncer that he was - "Kevin Carson, Johnny's son."
What Spacey didn't tell Letterman was that he used the Carson scam for a variety of pleasures,
including tickets to see his idol. "I used to sneak into the Tonight Show, to watch Johnny
live every day that summer," he said referring to that 19th year. "I've always been a mimic. When
I didn't feel like standing in line with the other tourists, I'd phone the ticket office pretending to
be Carson, asking that tickets be left at the door." The scam worked.
The Oscar and Tony award winner, who chains smokes while eating health food, was born in
South Orange, N.J. and raised in southern California. His first starring role was his high school's
production of The Sound of Music. His co-star was another classmate - Mare
As the star of The Iceman Spacey brings his sense of humor into the theatre. There
is a framed picture of an egg, which is given each night to the actor who makes the most mistakes
in the four hour and twenty minute production. The actor who has goofed the most? Tony Danza.
MCGUIRE COMPLETES HOSPICE
Singer Phyllis McGuire, 68, performed 40 hours of charity work at the Nathan Adelson Hospice
in Las Vegas, and made a donation of $5,000 to the Injured Police Officers Fund.
With proof presented to the Las Vegas Justice of the Peace James Bixler, a misdemeanor criminal
charge of obstructing an officer was dismissed. (See Broadway To Vegas Column of March 29,
The lead singer for the McGuire Sisters did not attend the court hearing. She was represented by
New York attorney Paul Derounian. Her Las Vegas lawyer John Moran, Jr. had struck a deal
with the Clark County District Attorney's office for McGuire, who was arrested on March 24
after she screamed, cursed, hit and head butted a police officer. She was riding in her limo when
the vehicle was stopped by police who wanted to speak to the driver. The driver had been seen
conferring with an individual, who was under police surveillance.
Moran indicated that McGuire was examining legal remedies for any damages caused to her
professional career or any personal injuries she might have received during her arrest.
A long time Vegas resident, the well-liked McGuire is noted for her community involvement and
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LAUGH A LOT
STEVE ALLEN PROLIFIC AUTHOR AT A BOOK SIGNING.
The 1st Annual Foolproof Northwest Comedy Festival, Seattle, opens up the yuks tonight with a
week-long series of events that feature some of the top laugh makers in the business.
American comic legend Steve Allen will be tonight's gala opening at the Paramount Theatre.
Comedian of the Year Paula Poundstone takes the stage on Tuesday, while scorching syndicated
columnist Molly Ivins will be explaining her wit at the Bagley Wright Theatre.
Photo By: Laura Deni
spotlight are MacHomer, The Simpsons Do Shakespeare at the Benaroya Hall Music Center, on
Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Popular NPR humorist David Sedaris will be featured in the
Paramount Ballroom on Friday at 7:30, followed by Comedy Central's hottest comics Marc
Maron & Mitch Hedberg in a 10 p.m. gig.
Tommy Davidson of In Living Color and the fabulous Bob Newhart close out the
festivities on Saturday. In all over 75 performers will participate.
KICKING UP THEIR HEELS
Dance for the Health of It is being celebrated April 26-May 2 with Shirley MacLaine as national
"For me dancing is the highest octane of human movement. Maybe if I could keep moving, I
could live forever." Actually, with her beliefs in reincarnation, we at Broadway To Vegas thought
she had lived forever.
The high kickoff is slated for Monday, April 26 at 12 Noon at the Josie Robertson Plaza at
Lincoln Center, NYC There will be performances by the world famous Radio City Music Hall
Rockettes, cast from the Broadway musical Footloose, Momix, Martha Graham Dance
Company, Dance Olympus, DRA Studio of the Year - that's the Milford School for the
Performing Arts - Ron Brown/Evidence, New York City Dance Alliance and others.
National Dance Week - Dance for The Health of it is sponsored by the UDMA - United Dance
Merchants of America. There will be over a week of events, celebrations and activities across the
continent, to heighten the awareness of dance and its contributions of our culture. A special Los
Angeles celebration is slated for the California Plaza on Friday, April 30. Washington, D.C's
event will take place at the Old Post Office Pavilion.
LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION
Sandra Bullock is in Black Mountain, N.C. filming 28 Days, according to Trudy
Knight-Peek, our Carolina correspondent. "It's a Columbia picture, costing $7 to $8 million.
Most of the crew is staying at the Monta Vista Hotel in Black Mountain. They're filming quite a
bit in the dining room at the Monta Vista," Knight-Peek reported. "The locals are thrilled to death
to have Sandra Bullock there. She's lovely and only nice things are being said about the cast and
In the Midwest our roving reporter, Michael Ashleman, tells us that Election starring
Matthew Broderick and Reese Witherspoon was predominately shot in the Omaha area, using
many of the cast and crew from Citizen Ruth which had also been filmed in Omaha.
Ashleman interviewed several of the Citizen Ruth cast members, who were overjoyed that
the Omaha raised director, Alexander Payne, was also going to be using them in
The Omaha World-Herald reported that two endings were shot of the Paramount film.
which opens April 23 in New York and Los Angeles, and May 7 in Omaha and selected cities. It
seems that when Payne and co-writer Jim Taylor adapted Tom Perrotta's novel and shot the
original ending, test audiences in California voted thumbs down. Paramount was willing to come
up with the bucks to have the ending re-shot. Payne told the World-Herald he "made the ending
darker and funnier, shooting it in New York and Washington, D.C."
Election, is about a high-school election that is hindered by a teacher (played by
Broderick) who is having an affair with a student.
Laura Dern and Swoosie Kurtz in Citizen Ruth
Payne's budget was double the one for Citizen Ruth, had more shooting days - 49 - and
the actors were paid more. In Citizen Ruth all actors, including Laura Dern, Swoosie
Kurtz, Burt Reynolds, Tippi Hedren, Alicia Witt, and Kelly Preston received scale.
Broderick is currently starring on Broadway in Night Must Fall while Omaha born Kurtz
has received an Outer Critics Circle Best Actress nomination, for her starring role in The
For her role in Election Witherspoon told Jay Leno that she attended Burke High in
Omaha for two days undercover, but the kids figured out who she was.
Many of the extras are students at Papillion-LaVista High School where much of the movie was
filmed. One Millard West High School student, Chris Klein, snagged a major part. He was
discovered in a hallway after being recommended to Payne by a teacher. Now he has been signed
for the third lead in American Pie, and is represented by William Morris. Also moving up
is Delaney "Patty" Driscoll who had a brief role in Citizen Ruth, and a much larger one in
Payne is currently reviewing scripts prepared from the novels About Schmidt by Louis
Degley and The Locked Room by Paul Auster, which is being developed as a script by
Lenn Dobbs, who wrote the sci-fi flick, Dark City.
In Las Vegas I was one of 30 extras Creative Talent sent over to be part of Con Man In
Vegas, which stars Asian based actor/singer Andy Lau. In the movie, King - portrayed by
Lau - and his cousin (Nat Chan) are hot on the trail of international scoundrel Peter Chu (Man
Tsz Leung), who has had plastic surgery to conceal his notorious identity. Chu's high-rolling
habits lead him to Las Vegas. We extras were told to wear expensive clothes, look like high
rollers and show up on time at Caesars Palace where our scenes would be shot. A couple of days
later we trekked to McCarren Airport and pretended to be tourists.
Although many in the crew didn't speak English, this was a most pleasant experience. The extras
were addressed as "ladies and gentlemen will you please...." When we obeyed, we were told
"Thank you." That doesn't always happen.
The X-Files, that award winning television drama about two FBI special agents teamed to
investigate a series of unexplained cases, recently shot on location at the Monte Carlo Hotel in
Las Vegas. That shoot marked the first time the show went on location during its six-year
The episode, written by Vince Gilligan and John Shiban, directed by Brian Spicer, features The
Lone Gunmen, Lingly (Dean Haglund), Byers (Bruce Harwood) and Frohike (Tom Braidwood),
under operatives friendly to agents Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian
Anderson). Soap opera actress Signy Coleman, best-known for her work as Annie Dutton (aka:
Teri DeMarco) on Guiding Light, reprises her guest starring role in the episode.
MUCH ADO OVER SHAKESPEARE
With Shakespeare all the rage it seems productions are popping up all over.
The Bard of Stratford-On-Avon was born and died on the same day -April 23. Born in 1564, his
mother's family were well-to-do farmers. His father was a glove maker.
He wrote 37 plays which are performed more often than any other playwright. However, when
you're trying to mount a new production, any playwright knows that it can help to know the
owner of the theatre. In the case of Shakespeare, he was one of the owners of the Globe
Theatre. It was ownership of that theatre that made him wealthy, not his scribbling - since
playwrights were neither paid well nor respected. Poets, not playwrights, were at the top of
The first recorded performance at the original Globe Theatre was Julius Caesar on Sept.
21, 1599. In recognition of that anniversary, the new Globe in London opens its season May 13
with Julius Caesar, performed by an all-male cast, as it would have been in Shakespeare's
day, since women were barred from the stage. The production will be performed in "authentic"
style - costumes will be re-created clothing of the period, and there will be a minimum of props
Getting even for being barred from the stage more than 400 years ago, the Los Angeles Women's
Shakespeare Company is staging an all female version of Shakespeare's romantic comedy
Much Ado About Nothing.
Currently being presented through April 25 inside the Ford Theatre, at the John Anson Ford
Amphitheatre in L.A. features Kelly Coffield as Beatrice and Lisa Wolpe as Bendick. Directed by
Natsuko Ohama and Wolpe with music by O-Lan Jones.
The Complete Works of Wm. Shkspr (abridged) at the Globe Theatre in West Hollywood
was created by Adam Long, Daniel Singer and Jess Winfield. Harris Dorman, Sean Galuszka and
Robert L. Williams play more than 150 characters as they perform all 37 Shakespeare plays in 87
minutes. Ends May 2.
Putting a Jimmy Buffet twist to Shakespeare is New York director Russell Treyz, who has
returned to Orlando for his sixth season with the Orlando Shakespeare Festival. When Twelfth
Night was written, the setting was a fictional Greek isle. Treyz has transferred the action to a
mythical Caribbean island among carousers and vagabonds. Shakespeare's lines have been given a
calypso beat. Treyz describes his interpretation as simply "putting a different light on a sculpture."
Dig out your Jimmy Buffet parrot head and groove to Twelfth Night at the Walt Disney
Amphitheater. Ends April 28.
Wanting to give people an earful is Rhino Records. They're compiling a boxed set of recordings of
the Bard's works for release in July, featuring excerpts by Laurence Olivier, Paul Robeson,
Richard Burton and Orson Welles, among others.
Last Friday the Prince of Wales, that's Prince Charles, who is a patron of the Philharmonia
Orchestra and on the International Board of the Marinsky Theatre, hosted an evening for the
supporters of the two companies, at Buckingham Palace. The Philharmonia, conducted by Valery
Gergiev, performed a program of music inspired by Shakespeare, with Placido Domingo doing the
OFFSPRING HAVE TO TRY HARDER
Tony Award winner James Naughton has just received an Outer Critics Circle nomination for
Outstanding Solo Performance for his fabulous Street of Dreams show, the same show
which earned him a covered MAC Award. The guy has a lot to brag about. What he's elated over
is not his own success, but rather that of his daughter, Keira, who is starring as Daisy Archer in
Letters, at the Ensemble Studio Theatre. (See Broadway To Vegas column of April 5, 1999)
GRANT JAMES VARJAS, KEIRA NAUGHTON,
I spoke to Keira about growing up as Naughton's daughter, sharing a dressing room with Calista
Flockhard, and becoming successful on her own.
in Jeffrey Stanley's "TESLA'S LETTERS"
Photo By: Carol Rosegg
In Telsa's Letters, Keira portrays an American graduate student who goes to Yugoslavia
1997, to research the life, letters and inventions of the great scientist Nicola Telsa.
"This play is great, so timely. I play a great character, really intelligent, driven, a tough, strong
woman," explained Keira.
It's very important right now because everything is so present in everyone's conscious. This was
written long before the NATO action. It was a story that was in the back of the newspaper - that
people didn't really want to address. So, now it's ironic because there are lines like - Maybe I'll go
to Croatia sometimes in 98 when you guys are through fighting and the UN has swept the area.
"I have most of my scenes with the director of the museum in Belgrade. He says - That's the
trouble with you Americans, you never want to get involved until it is too late."
"You can hear the audience titter," continued Naughton. It's exciting to do a play that is so
current - topical. At the end there is always the feeling in the theatre that the play has had some
sort of an impact. It's a little bit cathartic to some and definitely stimulates people's minds,
thoughts and feelings. That's what so great. It doesn't take sides. It poses questions."
While this play may have a cathartic energy on stage, Keria has been in productions where the
tension was backstage. In that instance she was sharing a dressing room with Calista Flockhart.
"I was one of the principal understudies in the Broadway production of Chekhov's Three
Sisters, recalled Keira about the show that, in addition to Calista, starred Amy Irving, Jeanne
Tripplehorn, Lili Taylor, and Eric Stolz. Keira was the understudy for both Flockhart and Taylor
and shared a dressing room with Flockhard.
Did sharing a dressing room cause tension?
"It could have, but in this situation it was kind of a nice, safe haven. We were surrounded by
tension. This is right before she got Ally McBeal. She actually had to leave the show and
go to L.A. to do that. She was debating whether or not she should even audition for it, because
she wasn't sure if she wanted to do a TV show, because she was beginning to break into films.
So what made Calista decide to audition?
"Me," said Keira. "I like to think I had some part in it, because she said - Do you think I ought to
do this? I said, - Definitely! I'm not in any way responsible for her success, but her deciding to go
audition was definitely a big decision for her. "
Then there is that question that everyone has been asking - Is Calista anorexic?
Keira replied; "Only she knows. She sure is skinny, that's for sure. I tried to get into her costume
and it just wasn't happening," commented Keira about the actress who once worked eight weeks
off Broadway for only $400. The only food Calista had was a case of ravioli that her older brother
If Calista had a brother who sent her canned pasta, many without genetic ties to stars assume the
red carpet is rolled out for star power progeny. "No, not at all," exclaimed Keira. "You really
have to prove yourself. For me, some of the most difficult moments to overcome are when
someone who has known me all my life as James Naughton's daughter, sees me in something and
says - "Wow! I didn't know you had that in you." For me those are the most satisfying moments,
because it's really hard. Those people are judging me, but they aren't seeing me as myself, but as
James Naughton's daughter.
"There are so many daughters and sons of famous people who come in and everybody goes -
whatever," commented Keira about the easy dismissal of those with genetic
"Those people might actually have talent," argued Keira, "but in the face of that kind of pressure,
they can crumble. Or, they have to overcome it and become their own person."
Clearly, 27-year-old Keira is an actress that has her priorities in order. While the NYU graduate
has made her own way onto the theatre stages, her psychiatric/social worker educated mother and
acting father obviously provided a solid foundation.
"It was great having him as a father. He was always going on field trips and acting as a chaperon,"
recalled Keira. "For him, fatherhood was a priority - to be there."
During her formative years Naughton was frequently in California starring in CBS TV's Look
Homeward Angel, with Geraldine Page, or in several television series including; Faraday
and Co. with the late Dan Dailey, or films such as The Good Mother, opposite Diane
Keaton, The Paper Chase, or the Paul Newman directed The Glass
"If he was doing a television show or something that was shooting in L.A. he would fly back to
Connecticut on the red-eye for the weekend, just to be with us. I can't imagine how exhausting
that must have been for him. But, he would be there. Saturday morning, we would wake up, and
there he was."
While Keira's father is a graduate of Brown and the Yale School of Drama, Keira opted for
NYU's drama department. She strongly urges aspiring thespians to receive formal training.
"It's hard to get an agent," she commented. "I had a great opportunity at NYU because I not only
worked with a lot of professional directors, but because a lot of people in the industry come to
see the shows, because they're right there in New York. I had that advantage. A lot of people go
to NYU just for that reason - or Yale or Juilliard, because you have a showcase at the end," she
"Agents fly in from Los Angeles to watch the showcase," she elaborated. "I had tons and tons of
meetings. In a way it's great and in a way it's silly. Because, you can end up signing with someone
who doesn't know you. They've seen you do a two or three minute scene and that's it. That can be
a problem. I pretty much had representation from the minute I came out of NYU, but it's always a
battle between the actor and the agent," she added.
Did having a famous father help in getting parts?
"It had nothing to do with him," she stressed. "There is this whole misconception about being a
relative or anybody famous. I auditioned for grad school and I got in. My father can't audition for
me. The reality is - people actually tend not to take you as seriously, if they only know you as the
daughter or son of a star," she said voicing the complains of many show business offspring.
Keria can see both sides of the casting question and made an interesting admission. "If I was a
director coming to New York for the first time, trying to make a name or make a splash, I would
never cast the daughter or the sister of the producer or the star," she admitted, and then
explained her reasoning. "That could be viewed as a compromise and I wouldn't make that
compromise. Even if she was the best person for the part, it would seem like a compromise. So,
there is always that obstacle. You have to prove yourself more, because people go - she got the
part because of her family. I have lost lots of parts because I am the daughter of James Naughton
or the sister of Greg Naughton, she said referring to her actor brother who founded the Blue
Light Theatre Company, where their mother serves as director of development.
As for her own future, for the past two years Keira has been involved with Stephen Barker Turner
whom Keira describes as "an intellectual kind of actor." A Julliard graduate, they met in the
theater and have performed together at the Roundabout in All My Sons. "It's kind of hard
to date somebody who is not an actor," reasoned Keira. "We're very supportive of each other.
He gives me notes that are great and really help me and I give him notes that help him." In other
words they critique each other. Stephen's private critiques about Tesla's Letters have all
OTHER PEOPLE'S MONEY
FORUM SHOPS IN LAS VEGAS
is the number one shopping mall in the United States based upon dollar volume per square foot.
The mall is located at Caesars Palace.
BROADWAY CARES/EQUITY FIGHTS AIDS honors three playwrights next Monday, April 26, at the Broadhurst Theater
The star-studded benefit salutes; Christopher Durang, Terrence McNally and Wendy Wasserstein.
Just about anyone who is anyone on Broadway is expected to appear including; Jane Alexander,
Alec Baldwin, Christine Baranski, Betty Buckley, Zoe Caldwell, Stockard Channing, Brian
Dennehy, Whoopi Goldberg, Swoosie Kurtz, Nathan Lane, Patti LuPone, Steve Martin, Debra
Monk, Audra McDonald, David Hyde Pierce, Sigourney Weaver and George Wendt.
SALEM STATE COLLEGE theater
department marked the opening of its 100th production by honoring Broadway director Richard
Maltby, Jr. with a life experience award. College president Nancy D. Harrington made the
presentation at a dinner before the curtain rose on Guys and Dolls. Maltby conceived
and directed Fosse for which he has been nominated for an Outer Critics Circle award in
the Outstanding Director of a Musical category. Maltby won a Tony Award as best director for
HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY
TRYING is presented by San Francisco's Peninsula Civic Light
Opera April 23-May 9.
RENT calls the Hilton Hotel, Las
Vegas home for 12 days from Oct. 27-Nov. 7. Tickets go on sale April 26. $40-$65.
THE INVENTOR OF THE BIRTH CONTROL PILL Carl Djerassi, has penned a play An Immaculate Misconception
about sex, truth and reproductive science. Directed by Edward Hastings, the production continues
through May 2 at the Eureka Theatre, San Francisco.
HARVEY KORMAN AND TIM CONWAY in Together Again with special guest, Louise DuArt, April 24 at the
Silver Legacy Resort in Reno, Nevada.
THE BOYS CHOIR OF HARLEM
in a one nighter, April 21, Paramount Theatre, Austin, Texas.
SANDY DUNCAN in Boston on
April 22, stretches her image, stepping into the gun toting part of murderess Roxie Hart in the
national company of Chicago.Sandy will razzle-dazzle em in New York on May 25 at the
CHITA RIVERA AND BEN VEREEN starring in the Las Vegas production of Chicago at Mandalay Bay
Hotel, yesterday were on hand to greet participants of the 9th annual AIDS Walk at the Fashion
Show Mall. Rivera and Vereen were honorary co-chairpersons for the event.
THIS AND THAT
ELTON JOHN AND TINA TURNER getting into a hissy fit backstage during rehearsals for VH1's Divas
Live 99 has put a question mark over whether the two will perform as scheduled in Las
Vegas. The duo are slated for Y2K festivities Dec. 30 at the Thomas and Mack Center, presented
by Caesars Palace. Tickets priced $100-$600 went on sale March 20.
WASHED ASHORE Holy Cross
music professor Bruce I. Miller and Helga J. Perry, a Gilbert and Sullivan scholar from England
have uncovered a lost song from Gilbert and Sullivan's H.M.S. Pinafore called Reflect,
My Child. Using the orchestration they found and lyrics that were on file in the British
Library, the duo were able to reconstruct a song, which has been recorded by Holy Cross grads
Nicole Bard and Jonathan Mack. The first full orchestration will be performed in July at the
International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival in Buxton, England.
STEVE AND EYDIE cancelled their
Caesars Palace engagement in Las Vegas. Eydie is still ill. (See Broadway To Vegas column of
March 29, 1999)
WOMEN KISSING AS MEN LEER
that's the drawing featured on the Las Vegas Hard Rock Hotel's invitation to the May 10 opening
of its $100 million expansion. The drawing depicts two almost clad women holding each other, as
one kisses the other on the face. Each woman has a hand grasping the other's buttocks, while a
group of leering men are at a nearby crap table. We're not sure what this invitation is suppose to
convey about the theme or intent of the expansion project.
ANTHONY NEWLEY in
Florida after a long battle with cancer. The best selling songwriter and engaging performer,
regularly starred in Las Vegas during the 1970's and 1980's. The former husband of Joan Collins,
wrote and starred in the Broadway smash Stop The World I Want To Get Off. He
composed What Kind of Fool Am I? The Candy Man, and Goldfinger. He
co-wrote the score for the hit musicals Wolly Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and
The Roar of the Greasepaint, The Smell of the Crowd. Married three times, he is survived
by his mother and four children.
Mention BROADWAY TO VEGAS for Special Consideration
Call (800) 942-9027
Next Column: April 26, 1999
Copyright: April 19, 1999. All Rights Reserved. Reviews, Interviews, Commentary,
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