Following a lengthy national tour, Bea Arthur on Broadway: Just Between Friends, opens officially in Feb. 17. Arthur began Broadway performances of her popular solo show in which she sings, tells jokes and shares recipes and reminiscences from her TV and stage career, Jan. 29.
The show recently announced a two week extension beyond its original March 10 close date, continuing to March 24 at the Booth Theatre. Any further extensions are unlikely, given a projected opening of April 25 for the incoming revival of I'm Not Rappaport at the same theatre.
A cast album of the Arthur revue was released Feb. 12 on the DRG Records label.
Daryl Roth, USA Ostar Theatricals and Bev Bartner are producing Bea Arthur on Broadway: Just Between Friends (formerly titled ...And Then There's Bea, With Her Friend Billy Goldenberg at the Piano), which opened at Minneapolis, MN's Guthrie Theatre April 24-29, 2001. The show charts Arthur's theatre and TV career through songs and anecdotes.
* Those looking for an alternate take of "The Man in the Moon Is a Lady," from Mame, are in luck.
Record producer Hugh Fordin snagged the cast album deal for Arthur's solo show, And Then There's Bea, last fall and recorded it live Dec. 12-13, 2001, while it was on its national tour under that title. Billy Goldenberg is at the piano on the disc and on Broadway, where the assertive Arthur pretends to bark orders at him in service of her evening of songs and career stories.
The album was recorded at the Royal Poinciana in West Palm Beach, FL.
Arthur is widely known for TV's "Maude" and "The Golden Girls," and won a Tony Award as Vera Charles in Broadway's Mame and as the matchmaker in Fiddler on the Roof (her part was substantially cut on the road, and Arthur has choice words for late director Jerome Robbins in her show). She also appeared in the famed Theatre de Lys staging of The Threepenny Opera Off-Broadway in 1954.
Arthur's last Broadway show was Woody Allen's The Floating Lightbulb.
Composer Goldenberg is best known for his film work ("The Last of Sheila," "Play It Again, Sam") but he also wrote the music for The Queen of the Stardust Ballroom (also known as Ballroom) and An Evening with Mike Nichols and Elaine May, and served as dance music arranger for such musicals as Greenwillow and High Spirits.
Production consultants are Richard Maltby Jr. and Mark Waldrop (both are credited in the Playbill).
The cast album includes the musical numbers "Fun to Be Fool," "What Can You Get a Nudist for Her Birthday?," "Isn't He Adorable," "Let's Face The Music And Dance," "Bosom Buddies," "Pirate Jenny," "It Never Was You," "And Then There's Maude," "Some People," "Where Do You Start?," "If I Can't Sell It, I'll Keep Sittin' On It!," "Who Cares," "Fifty Percent," "You're Gonna Hear From Me," "The Chance to Sing," "The Man in the Moon Is a Lady."
For tickets ($50-$65) and information on Bea Arthur On Broadway call (212) 239-6200.