All-Star Reading of The Women, with Neuwirth, Stritch, Kitt, in NYC July 17

News   All-Star Reading of The Women, with Neuwirth, Stritch, Kitt, in NYC July 17 Some of the most prominent women in the American theatre will participate in a benefit reading of Clare Boothe Luce's The Women, July 17 at 8 PM. The event will benefit the Phyllis Newman Women's Health Initiative of The Actors' Fund of America.

Some of the most prominent women in the American theatre will participate in a benefit reading of Clare Boothe Luce's The Women, July 17 at 8 PM. The event will benefit the Phyllis Newman Women's Health Initiative of The Actors' Fund of America.

Newman herself will be among the actresses reading, narrating the play. Karen Ziemba, Tony winner for Contact, will play Mary, the good and sweet wife who is faithful to her straying husband, while ignoring the malicious advice of her bevy of gossipy female friends. Bebe Neuwirth will play Crystal, the vulgar department store counter girl with whom Mary's hubby is straying. And Elaine Stritch will play Sylvia, the bitchiest of the play's many bitchy women. Finally, Eartha Kitt, recently of The Wild Party and soon to be seen in a national tour of Cinderella, will play the much-married Countess.

Also scheduled to appear are Polly Bergen ("Cape Fear"), Tovah Feldshuh (Lend Me a Tenor), Hazelle Goodman, Dee Hoty (Footloose), Rita Moreno ("West Side Story"), Lea DeLaria (On the Town), Carrie Preston (The Tempest), Mary Testa (Marie Christine) and Sandy Duncan (Chicago).

The reading will take place at the Lucille Lortel Theatre in Manhattan. A $250 donation gains admittance. For information, call (212) 221-7300, ext. 129, or e-mail smeehan@actorsfund.org.

--By Robert Simonson