Eartha Kitt, one of the greatest nightclub entertainers our time, may be back on Broadway in the musical version of Thornton Wilder’s classic comedy “Skin of Our Teeth,” with music and lyrics by John Kander and Fred Ebb (“Cabaret’, “Chicago”). ” Kitt, who is currently performing at the Cafe Carlyle, is doing three backers auditions at the Roger Berlind Rehearal Studio at Princeton’s famed McCarter Theatre. The final one was scheduled for today (Friday, June 17). “A lot of producers are coming down with the idea of moving it to Broadway,” one inside source told AM New York.
The star, meanwhile, has added three performances to her sold-out run at the Carlyle with a Monday, June 20 show at 8:45, as well as two Friday late shows – June 24th and July 2 at 10:45 “It’s great to be back at the Carlyle and to have the opportunity to perform in such an intimate setting,” Kitt told AM New York.
The incomparable Buddy Greco will have a four-night exclusive engagement at the Iridium July 21-24 performing his new show, “From Philly to MacArthur Park.” The jazz pianst/ vocalist has played music with Benny Goodman, Nat King Cole, Peggy Lee, Frank Sinatra, Jimmie Webb and Keely Smith. He’ll perform some of his greatest hits, including “The Lady Is A Tramp,” “Around The World,” “Look At Her, Ain’t She Pretty” and his signature song, “MacArthur Park,” He joined The Benny Goodman Band at age 16 as pianist/singer/arranger.
The East Lynne Theatre Company, which is opening its 25th season in Cape May, NJ on June 22 with a revival of Eugene O’Neill’s “Anna Christie” — the movie version of which became Greta Garbo’s first talking picture — is doing a rare and possibly New York-bound revival of “Rain,” based on Somerset Maugham’s classic story about the God-fearing prostitute seduced by a clergyman. “Rain” opens in September, some 78 years after Jeanne Eagels opened in it on Broadway. The late drama critic Ward Morehouse, my father, said that in being at the show’s opening night then he “experienced one of the most genuinely stirring moments in all my theater-going years … first nighters stood and screamed when the curtain fell …”
Most of the 25 finalists out of 100 in The Discovery Channel’s search for the “The Greatest American.”are deceased. But Bob Hope’s PR man, Ward Grant, is still promoting his boss. And he wants everyone to know that Hope is the only one of the finalists to have appeared on Broadway and lived in Manhattan. Grant thinks his former boss deserves the honor because of all the work he did entertaining troops and because Hope is “probably the only one who probably knew everybody else on the list.” Grant admits it may be hard to beat George Washington but is asking fellow Americans to vote for Hope because he represents the American dream: “He’s an immigrant who dined with presidents and kings but never forgot his roots.”
The Appause Book Store on West 71st Street and Broadway is sadly closing July 30 but theater fans are finding a gold mine of old and new theater and film books and plays , some relatively rare first editions, being sold at 60 percent off.
Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx, the co-creators of “Avenue Q,” are hosting AVENUE Q SWINGS!, at the Lucille Lortel Theatre on Monday, June 27th at 7:30 pm. Proceeds from the performance will benefit Greenwich House Music School’s Piano Fund, replacing two well-worn Steinway grand pianos and the evening will feature Broadway performers Karen Mason (Mamma Mia!, Sunset Boulevard), Sally Mayes (Steel Magnolias, Tony nominee/She Loves Me), Christine Pedi (Forbidden Broadway), The Q Trio (Greenwich House Music School string trio), Sherie Rene Scott (Tony Nominee/Dirty Rotten Scoundrels), Marc Shaiman (Tony Award-winning Composer/Hairspray), Billy Stritch (42nd Street), Toxic Audio (Drama Desk-winning acappella quartet), and Tom Wopat (Glengarry Glen Ross). The musical director for the show will be composer/arranger Mary Ann McSweeney.