7 PM: The Stars Come Out

News   7 PM: The Stars Come Out
 
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Clockwise from top left: Rosie O'Donnell and Madeline Kahn; Victor Garber and Cherry Jones; Barry Bostwick; Chita Rivera
Clockwise from top left: Rosie O'Donnell and Madeline Kahn; Victor Garber and Cherry Jones; Barry Bostwick; Chita Rivera Photo by Photo credit: Starla Smith

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The opening night of Steel Pier on Broadway drew a complement of the town's glitterati, including many prominent theatre personalities. Several took time to talk about their projects with Playbill On-Line as they entered the Richard Rodgers Theatre in the moments before the curtain rose:

* Steel Pier director Scott Ellis said opening day of the musical consisted mainly of dropping off his gifts to the cast (a picture of the original Steel Pier in Atlantic City), and his pep talk. "I thanked them for giving us the gift of the show. Now we have to give it to them. Now it's their show."

* Chita Rivera said she's working on a new club act that goes into rehearsal in August before touring. She said it will consist of herself and a chorus performing some of her familiar numbers, along with original material written by Steel Pier team Kander & Ebb. (They wrote Chicago and Kiss of the Spider Woman for her. The title of her new show will be Chita's Jazz . . . and All That.

* Victor Garber talked about the recent performance he did of the in progress Stephen Sondheim musical Wise Guys. Garber, who has starred on Broadway in Damn Yankees, Sweeney Todd and many other shows, said he did the performance "so Steve [Sondheim] and John [Weidman, the librettist] could see what they've got. They were very encouraged and enthused." Garber said he does not know if he will be part of an eventual full staging of the new musical.

* Madeline Kahn said she'd like to return to the stage but is currently tied up with a TV series. As she was talking talk show host Rosie O'Donnell came up, pressed her cheek to Kahn's and proclaimed, "Young Frankenstein -- The Musical! Coming next season!"

* Comedian Paul Provenza Only Kidding, said he had been up for the part of the Diving Horse in Steel Pier. And if anybody knows how to take a dive -- it's me.

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