Tony-nominated for playing Rizzo in Grease, the mother of recently born identical twin boys, heroine of filmdom's Swamp Thing, and best known for starring as semi-liberated daughter Carol on TV's "Maude," Adrienne Barbeau will return to the stage in a West Coast production of the John Kander & Fred Ebb revue, The World Goes `Round. Glenn Casale will direct the show, which begins previews June 24 and opens June 27 at Long Beach, CA's Center Theatre.
Said director Casale, "the wonderful thing about Kander & Ebb's work is that each song tells a separate story. This revue doesn't present Sally Bowles singing `Cabaret' from the musical Cabaret. It's "Cabaret" taken out of context, done in a totally different way. Every song, whether from Chicago, The Rink, Zorba or Kiss Of The Spider Woman, stands completely on its own." Kander & Ebb are currently represented on Broadway by two shows, the aforementioned, 1975 Chicago, and their new Steel Pier, which stars Karen Ziemba -- who got her big break by appearing in the 1991 Off-Broadway premiere of World (then titled And The World Goes `Round).
Casale previously directed Barbeau in Strange Snow, Pump Boys And Dinettes (for CA's La Mirada) and Best Little Whorehouse In Texas (Sacramento Music Theatre).
Appearing with Barbeau will be Kevin Bailey (Godspell national tour), Suzanne Harrer (Hollywood's Heyday at Escondido's Lawrence Welk Theatre), Regina LeVert (Sisterella European tour and Eubie at South Coast Rep), and James Mellon (Broadway's A Chorus Line, Very Good Eddie and West Side Story).
Designing The World `Goes Round are Lisa Hashimoto (sets), Sherry Linnell (costumes), and Tom Ruzika (lighting). Randy Hills will choreograph, and Darryl Archibald will serve as musical director for the revue, which was originally conceived by Scott Ellis, Susan Stroman and David Thompson. Songs in World include "Sara Lee," "My Coloring Book," "Mr. Cellophane," "Grass Is Always Greener," and "Kiss Of The Spider Woman."
Produced by artistic director Shashin Desai for International City Theatre, The World Goes `Round plays at the Center Theatre on East Ocean Blvd. In Long Beach, June 24-June 27. For tickets ($28) and information call (562) 938-4128. Opening night tickets are $34 and include a catered, post-performance reception.
--By David Lefkowitz