Broadway To Vegas
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Copyright: January 27, 2002
By: Laura Deni
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BROADWAY WELCOMES BACK
The Occupant by Edward Albee starring Anne Bancroft as artist Louise Nevelson,
opens at the Signature Theater on Feb. 5. Also known as Mrs. Mel Brooks, the talented lady is
at the top of everyone's list in being welcomed back to Broadway.
Bancroft's last starring role on Broadway was the 1977 production of Golda
The lady who enjoys a single malt scotch, and has made almost 60 motions pictures, was born on
Sept. 17, 1931 in the Bronx, New York, as Anna Maria Louisa Italiano.
She started her
professional career on television in
1950 using the name Anna Marno. In 1952 she was seen in the Marilyn
Monroe movie Don't Bother To Knock, and for the next several years knocked around in
a series of B movies such as the forgettable Demetrius and The Gladiator and Gorilla
A marriage that last less than four years ended in divorce and Bancroft returned to New York in
1958 and earned a Tony for her performance in the Broadway play Two For the Seesaw.
She won another
Tony and the New York Drama Critics Award for her performance as Annie Sulivan in The
Miracle Worker. She returned to Hollywood in 1962 to star with Patty Duke in the film
adaptation of the play,
and won a Best Actress Oscar with her first nomination.
She wasn't able to attend the ceremony because she was in New York appearing on stage in the
play, Mother Courage. When asked who she would like to accept her award for her
should she win, the naive actress who wasn't up to date on all of the Hollywood gossip said -
"One of the greats like Joan Crawford or Bette Davis, somebody like that."
What Bancroft didn't
know was that Davis and Crawford were feuding.
Because Davis was also nominated it wouldn't have been kosher for her to accept an award for
Bancroft. Thus, they got Joan Crawford to do the honors. That caused Davis to not only rile
against Crawford but also aim her venom at Bancroft. When Davis and Bancroft finally met,
Davis refused to speak to her.
Bancroft has received four other Oscar nominations. In 1967 Anne played the unforgettable role
of Mrs. Robinson, the older women who seduces Dustin Hoffman's character Ben in The
Graduate. It was a role offered to Doris Day, who Ross Hunter once remarked - "Had the
wildest ass in Hollywood." Or, as Oscar Levant enjoyed saying - "I knew Doris before she was a
Bancroft hasn't yet seen the new revival of The Graduate starring Kathleen
In 1964 Anne married Mel Brooks, whose own career has achieved a modicum of success.
As for this new play, Louise Nevelson, who died January 20, 1997, characterized her work to be
of a distinctly feminine
sensibility, yet the scale of her creations in the media of wood assemblage often prompted critics
to use masculine metaphors in describing them.
She began using wood during the
War when all metals were difficult to obtain. Since no one was using wood at the time in
sculpture - she did. Diane MacKown, film director, photographer and also Louise Nevelson's
biographer, lived with Nevelson for more than 25 years.
Louise again made headlines
after Sept. 11 because her mega work Sky Cathedral was destroyed along with the World Trade
Sky Cathedral by Louise Nevelson
Sky Cathedral which she created in 1958 was wood, painted black measuring 115x135x20 inches.
It came about by accident. She had received a Christmas present in a box that was divided up
inside. This gave her the idea to put her wood sculptures into boxes. Finally she made so many
boxes that her
studio was completely filled and she had no more room to work! To save space, she stacked the
boxes up--and that's how Sky Cathedral began!
This work was made up of 38 different boxes. Each of them creating a mood. Nevelson wanted
her work to look mysterious so she insisted that the sculpture be exhibited in a dark space and not
lit very brightly. The artist especially liked the way that made the shadows deep and
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ART AND ABOUT
PACEWILDENSTEIN BUYS MGM MIRAGE ART
GALLERY and their first display since acquiring the Bellagio
Gallery of Fine Art opened Friday. The gallery is being operated by PaperBall a division of
Jocelyn Wildenstein - her Las Vegas wedding to
art mogul turned her into Cat Woman
If the name Wildenstein sounds familiar for reasons other than gallery art - think plastic
Born in Marseilles, France, Alec Wildenstein received his education in New York and
remained there to escape the whisper of scandal that followed him everywhere in Europe. The
Wildensteins, a Jewish
family, had been accused of both buying and selling art from the Nazis during the war.
Within a year after Jocelyn and Alec met they were married in a lavish Las Vegas wedding
ceremony. The happy lovebirds then settled into Alec's spacious Park Avenue
For a time there was bliss and then Alec, heir to a 10 billion-dollar art fortune, began to stray. To
keep her man Jocelyn headed to the plastic surgeon's office. She became known as Tiger
Woman and The Bride Of Wildenstein because of extensive plastic surgery to make
her appear more like the exotic animals that her husband loved.
Not even being transformed into looking like a tiger could save the
marriage. The part
about a gun and catching Alec in bed with another woman didn't help - a bitter divorce battle
Jocelyn countersued Alec for a 200 million-dollar settlement, as well as tens of millions of
dollars in art
treasures, various houses, and $200,000 a month in interim support, a $50,000,000 trust and
year in alimony.
Eventually the divorce went through, but Jocelyn said she still loved the father of her two children
praying for a miracle. In July, 2000 Jocelyn reportedly said that her miracle had happened and
that she and Alec were "dating."
While the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art doesn't have anything as interesting a retrospective of
photographs showing the various incarnations of Jocelyn's face, Alexander Calder isn't bad. And,
Paperball has a fine reputation.
The Pace Gallery opened in Boston, Massachusetts in 1960. By the early 1980's Pace had secured
as a major gallery in the world of Modern and Contemporary art.
In 1993, Pace merged its impressive stable of Modern and Contemporary artists with the
renowned Wildenstein & Co., home to the world's largest private inventory of impressionist
works and old masters. The umbrella of PaceWildenstein also includes specialized galleries the newest
acquisition being the one in Las Vegas.
PaceWildenstein currently represents and exhibits Georg Baselitz, Alexander Calder, John
Chamberlain, Chuck Close, Jim Dine, Jean Dubuffet, Dan Flavin, Adolph Gottleib, Barbara Hepworth, Robert Irwin,
Alfred Jensen, Donald Judd, Alex Katz, Sol LeWitt, Robert Mangold, Agnes Martin, Henry Moore, Elizabeth
Murray, Louise Nevelson, Isamu Noguchi, Claes Oldenburg, Pablo Picasso, Robert Rauschenberg, Ad Reinhardt,
Bridget Riley, Mark Rothko, Robert Ryman, Lucas Samaras, Julian Schnabel, Joel Shapiro, Kiki Smith,
Saul Steinberg, Antoni T…pies, Coosje van Bruggen, and Robert Whitman.
Alexander Calder: The Art of Invention, is up close and on display for a six-month stay, closing
on July 24.
THEATER HALL OF FAME
will honor its 31st class of theater professionals in an induction ceremony at the Gershwin Theatre on
Tony winner Marian Seldes will emcee the event.
This year's honorees are:
Robert Brustein, founding director of Yale Rep and MA's American Repertory Theatre, where he
still serves as artistic director. Brustein will be inducted by Mike
Producer Cy Feuer
Costume designer Alvin Colt will be inducted by producer Cy Feuer.
The late dancer-choreographer Peter Gennaro will be
honored by Martin Charnin.
George Grizzard will be lauded by playwright A.R.
Co-founder and managing director of the Phoenix Theatre, T. Edward Hambleton, will be
Drama critic and former Drama Desk president Henry Hewes gets his award from Pittsburgh
drama reporter Chris Rawson.
American Theatre Wing chair Isabelle Stevenson, most famously identified with the Tony
Awards and their TV broadcasts, will be introduced by actress Carol Channing.
Composer Charles Strouse will be
Producers librettist Thomas Meehan.
Inductees to the Theatre Hall of Fame, now in its 31st year, must have "25 years on Broadway or
in American Theatre and five major credits."
of Fame was founded in 1971.
PARTNERS IN THE FIGHT AGAINST AIDS
stages their You Gotta Have Friends benefit on Jan. 31 at Carnegie Hall
Hosted by Whoopi Goldberg, among others, there will be a number from the
upcoming musical Thoroughly Modern Millie, which Goldberg is producing for
The evening will honor Time Warner's Gerald Levin.
MANHATTAN THEATRE CLUB are
throwing a party for themselves. The benefit called An Intimate Night, will star
Audra McDonald, Marc Kudisch and Karen Ziemba. The Plaza in New York City on January 28.
marks its 40th anniversary with the fifth annual Media Spotlight Awards on Monday, January 28.
Ted Koppel of ABC TV and Eve Ensler of The Vagina
will be among those honored. Marisa Tomei is to perform My Short Skirt from
as a tribute to Ensler's crusade to end violence against women.
UJA FEDERATION OF NEW YORK
honors Barry and Fran Weissler, the five time Tony award winning Broadway producers who
mounted My One & Only, Falsettos, Grease, Annie Get Your Gun and the revival of
Chicago starring George Hamilton.
The UJA-Federation of N.Y. honors the Weisslers at the annual Bernard B. Jacobs
award dinner at the Pierre on Jan. 28. James Earl Jones is the emcee, and the honorary dinner
chairs are Betty Jacobs, Paul Libin, James L. and James M. Nederlander, Gerry Schoenfeld,
Phil J. Smith, Rocco Landesman, Nick Scandalios, Robert E. Wankel.
MUSICAL THEATRE GUILD BENEFIT
will be hosted by Seinfeld's Jason Alexander. The evening salutes
Stephen Schwartz, in a benefit at the Pasadena Playhouse for the Musical Theatre Guild, a Los
Angeles-area Broadway in Concert series group.
Performing alongside Alexander will be Maureen McGovern, Andrea Marcovicci, Karen
Morrow, Liz Calloway and Schwartz himself.
Composer-lyricist Schwartz is currently at work on
Wicked, a musical based on the novel by Gregory Maguire which purports to tell the true
story of The Wicked Witch of the West of The Wizard of Oz fame. The creator of the
popular hits Godspell and Pippin, he is one of the few to have taken home the
Tony Award, the Academy Award and the Grammy Award. February 4.
The Pasadena Playhouse.
CROSSWALK TO EROS
At the age of 79 most men are living a life of memories. Paul Firestone is creating new
His play A Comedy of Eros, a contemporary madcap farce, officially opens this evening
at The Hudson Guild Theatre.
Firestone has a fixation about madcap farces - such as traffic signals.
Those Walk and Don't Walk signs that people frequently ignore.
Joan Copeland and Jordan Charney Photo By:
In the summer of 2000 he almost
got killed crossing the street near his home at West 69th Street in New York City. The Walk
signal had changed to Don't Walk before he had made it across the intersection. The former
educator wasn't amused.
He applied his brain to his irritation and last month the U.S. Patent Office granted his patent for
a transparent lens that, when placed over existing traffic control signs - either the Walk, Don't
Walk or the green, yellow and red lights - will then numerically display the time left before the
The cost is estimated at a paltry $15 per lens. It could save lives.
As for his opening night, he'll scurry on down to the theater - making sure not to cross until the
sign says Walk - to see, Joan Copeland star as Lulubeth LaBelle, a long-time widow, who
is totally distressed when she discovers that her daughter Delila, portrayed by Andrea Leigh, loves
and intends to marry Joanna Cohen, played by Jennifer Dorr White, an outstanding lawyer from
New York who works in Alabama State Attorney General William Jefferson Powers'
Powers, played by Jordan Charney, is enticed to help break up the lesbian partners. From there
A Comedy of Eros takes on out of control libidos, sexual harassment, a derailed run for
the U.S. Senate, mistaken identities and even a murder plot.
We just wonder what educator/playwright/inventor Firestone has in mind when he turns
Kathleen Turner and Jason Biggs
starring Kathleen Turner in the role she originated last March in London, baring
all and winning standing ovations in the new Broadway bound stage version.
Directed by Terry Johnson, who adapted the play from the same novel on which the movie was based. Designed by Rob Howell with lighting by Hugh Vanstone.
Jason Biggs, who became known through American Pie, co-stars as Benjamin
Braddock. A stage veteran he spent his 13th year co-starring with Judd Hirsch in the national tour of
Conversations With My Father. Alicia Silverstone co-stars as Elaine Robinson.
It opens tonight at the Canon Theatre in Toronto for a 32 performance run then transfers to The
Colonial Theatre in Boston, where it will play Feb. 20 to March 10. Then it's off to Broadway
it will open April 4.
ANTONY & CLEOPATRA
starring Laila Robins and Bob Cuccioli opened January 25 at Minneapolis' Guthrie Theatre.
Mark Lamos is the director. The cast includes Bruce Bohne as Menas, Leith Burke plays
Octavius Caesar, Anthony Ciaravino is cast as Dolabella, Bob Davis takes on the roles of Ventidius, Dercetus, Steve Hendrickson is
Agrippa, Richard S. Iglewski as Alexas, Tess Lina portrays Charmian, Tracey Maloney is cast as Iras, David Charles Mann takes on
Proculeius, Bill McCallum does the same with Scarus, Kris L. Nelson is cast as Mardian,
Kate Nowlin portrays Octavia, Stephen Pelinski has the role of Pompey,
Arnell Powell handles Tutor and Soothsayer, Paris Remillard is Eros, Mark Rosenwinkel handles
Lepidus, and Clown, Michael Tezla is Maecenas, Barton Tinapp is cast as Thidias and
Menecrates, and Stephen Yoakam plays Enobarbus. Performances continue to Feb. 24.
AND THEN THERE'S BEA
kicks off Tuesday, Jan. 29 at the Booth Theatre following by an invitation only celebration at
In the show Arthur tells of the triumphs and tribulations of her celebrated career in an evening
that also features 17 songs from the former co-star of Fiddler on the Roof and Mame,
including such gems as Bosom Buddies, It Never Was You, Some People and Fifty
Bea Arthur on Broadway: Just Between Friends with Billy Goldenberg at the Piano (See
Broadway To Vegas column of May 10, 1999) officially opens on Feb. 17 and runs through
THE ODD COUPLE with
Barbara Eden and Rita McKenzie open Tuesday at the Parker Playhouse in Ft. Lauderdale, FL for
a production running through Feb. 10.
AIDA Feb. 5-17 in Cincinnati,
has joined the
of Maybe Baby, It's You a two-person comedy which has been playing at the Coronet
Los Angeles since November 7. The other fifty percent of the cast is Charlie Shanian. Spelling
stays with the show through March 23.
Spelling is best known for portraying Donna Martin on Beverly Hills 90210. She is also
known for being the daughter of Aaron Spelling and as such spent much of her youth in Las
Aaron and his wife, Candi, used to enjoy watching Tori and her brother, Randy, play games at
Circus Circus, and Aaron was always on the lookout for family activities.
looking through the phone book for things to do," Aaron has told us many years ago.
"Tori loves animals. We saw the Chicken Ranch, and I gave them a call. We didn't know what it
was," he said referring to the infamous brothel just outside Las Vegas in Pahrump. "I thought it
would be neat. I'd never seen how chickens were raised."
Maybe Baby, It's You looks at
dating, relationships and marriage through serio-comic sketches. Played between the longer pieces
are audio clips of real-life interviews with people about their love lives and romantic needs.
Maybe Baby, It's You plays Wednesday-Saturday. The Coronet Theatre in West
FROM FANTASTICKS TO SIEGFRIED & ROY
Siegfried & Roy with their protege Darren Romeo
The doors have closed on the off Broadway musical The Fantasticks, after nearly 42 years
and 17,162 performances, but it will be remembered in Las Vegas when Siegfried & Roy protege
Darren Romeo debuts his new magic show next month.
In 1995 Romeo starred in The Fantasticks as The Boy. At the age of 19, Darren was the
youngest person ever to star in this production. He left The Fantasticks and New York for
Las Vegas in order to perform at Caesars Magical Empire--the $50 million dollar dining and
"The Fantasticks taught me many things," says Romeo. "I'm thrilled to have played a
small role in its success and look forward to keeping it alive in Las Vegas."
Siegfried & Roy Present Darren Romeo - The Voice of Magic is scheduled to debut in Las
Vegas February 14.
MANDY PATINKIN center stage tomorrow in Green
Bay, Wisconsin at the Weidner Center. Then on Wednesday he stars in Tampa, Florida at the
Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center.
LINDA EDER on stage January 28 in
Sarasota, Florida at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall.
GLADYS KNIGHT who has just signed a long term contract with the Flamingo Hilton in Las
Vegas performs February 1-2 at the Spa Resort Casino in Palm Springs, California.
KENNY ROGERS January 30 in
Biloxi, Mississippi at the Grand Theatre. Then on Friday, February lst, he is on stage in
Robinsonville, MS Grand Casino at Tunica. Kenny closes out the week on Saturday in Houston, Texas at the
JERRY VALE sings February 2 at the
Chandler Center for the Arts in Chandler, Arizona.
BARRY MANILOW can be located February 2 in New Orleans, LA at the Mahalia Jackson
LUTHER VANDROSS croons January 27 in Atlanta, GA at the Fox Theatre. Then
on Wednesday he's in the spotlight in Orlando, Florida at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Center.
Thursday finds Luther entertaining in Columbia, South Carolina at the Township Auditorium.
KEITH LOCKHART AND LUCIA LIN
husband and wife since 1996, journey to Utah where he is the music director of the Utah Symphony as well as
the conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra. In this outing Keith puts down his baton and sits down
at the piano where he will tinkle the ivories while his wife plays the violin. Along with the group Innuendo the
pair will cut loose with Dvorak's E-flat Major Quartet, an Astor Piazzola tango and Dohn'nyi's Piano Quintet
No. 1. This Wednesday at the Libby Gardner Concert Hall on the University of Utah campus Salt Lake
ARLO GUTHRIE performs January
27 in Sebastopol, California at the Analy High School. On Wednesday he is on stage in Arcata,
California at the John Van Duzer Theatre. Friday finds Guthrie in Santa Cruz, California at The Rio. He ends
the week February 2 in Cerritos, California at the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts.
ITZHAK PERLMAN starring January
29 at the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts in Cerritos, CA
BOB NEWHART tells stories
February 2 at the
Arrowhead Pond in Anaheim,CA.
TIM CONWAY AND HARVEY KORMAN entertain February 1 in Jackson, CA at the Jackson Rancheria Casino
On Saturday they can be found in Santa Rosa, CA at the Luther Burbank
LINCOLN CENTER JAZZ ORCHESTRA with Wynton Marsalis perform January 31 in Austin, Texas at the
On Friday the gang is in Tyler, Texas at the Cowan Center. They close out the week, Saturday,
in 2 Spring, Texas at The Centrum.
EDDIE MONEY January 28 at Bally's Las Vegas, NV.
MAUREEN McGOVERN sings at the
Gordon Center for the Performing Arts in Owings Mills, Maryland on January 30.
JULIUS LaROSE ( See Broadway To Vegas column of August 10,
1998 ) entertains February 1 - 3 at the Italian/American Film Festivals in Florida
located at the Coral Springs Performing Arts Center, The King Center in Melbourne and the
Ocean Center in Daytona Beach.
BRIAN McKNIGHT performing
Tuesday at the Austin Music Hall in Austin, Texas.
BOYS CHOIR OF HARLEM
is in the spotlight February 2 in Pittsburgh at the Benedum Center. Then on Friday the guys
are center stage at the Bradford, PA High School.
DAVID BENOIT plays January 31
at the Norris Center AAS Chamber Presentation Pavilion in Palos Verdes, California with the Asia American
Symphony, which David serves as its musical director. Benoit then takes off on his own for a performance
February 2 at Governor's State University.
PIFFLE AND PROFUNDITIES
DISNEY ANIMATORS used
Marilyn Monroe's body as the model for Tinkerbell.
Next Column: February 3, 2002
Copyright: January 27, 2002. All Rights Reserved. Reviews,
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