MILBURN, NJ -- As Norma Desmond might ask: Is that applause I hear? Indeed it is, off in the distance and across the Hudson. Charles Strouse and Lee Adams' musicalized All About Eve--the Tony-winning Best Musical of 1970, Applause--will kick off its six-month tour to Broadway at the Paper Mill Playhouse Sept. 11, 1996.
Producers Fran and Barry Weissler will put the revival into rehearsal in August with Stefanie Powers in Lauren Bacall's Tony-winning role of Margo Channing. John Dossett, of Kiss of the Spider Woman and Prelude to a Kiss, co-stars.
The Paper Mill production will run Sept. 11 to Oct. 19 before touring through the end of March, according to a spokesperson for the show's general manager. Following Paper Mill, Applause will travel to Tampa Bay, FL, Oct. 22-27. A stop at Chicago's Shubert Theatre is planned for February 1997, and another in Portland, OR in March, 1997, but the spokesperson, Catherine Finnefrock, could not confirm any other dates or stops. Playbill On-Line will list them as they become available.
Finnefrock said the production would move, "hopefully, to Broadway" after the tour concludes at the end of March, 1997.
The next question on everybody's lips is: where is the next Eve Harrington coming from? Well, she appears to be coming out of Juilliard, Class of 1996.
Less than a month after graduation, Kate Grant was deep in negotiations to play the ultimate in backstabbing understudies. Hiring unknowns right out of Juilliard is becoming a habit: Audra Ann McDonald has already amassed two Tony since she graduated in 1993--one for Carousel, the other for Master Class.
Gene Saks will direct, and Ann Reinking will choreograph, Applause--under the overall supervision of Tommy Tune. This is the second project that Reinking has in the Weissler frying pan: The producers hope to move the Chicago revival that Reiking choreographed and starred in for the "Encores!" series at City Center to Broadway for an extended run in October. Reportedly, the whole "Encores!" cast--including Bebe Neuwirth, James Naughton, Joel Grey, Marcia Lewis and D. Sabella--has been invited back for the open-ended Main Stem gig.
-- By Harry Haun and Andrew Ku