Broadway Cares/Equity Fights will hold their annual "Broadway Bears" charity event at 7 PM Feb. 15 at the Hudson Theatre (145 W. 44th St. In Manhattan). As usual, the auction will feature dozens of stuffed bears, each decked out in the fashion of a particular theatre production or personality, and signed by the artist the bear resembles. In the weeks leading up to the auction, Playbill On-Line will feature a different Broadway Bear each day. For information on the auction, call (212) 840 0770, ext. 268.
Anna Leonowens, from The King and I
Original Costume Designers: Irene Sharaff (Tony Award Winner)
Bear Costume Designer: Polly Isham-kinney, with the assistance of Woody Shelp (snood), Judith Marsh (shoes) and Barbara Matera, Ltd. staff
Fabric donated by William Gallagher
Signed by Baayork Lee
Whoever looked more elegant and serene than Gertrude Lawrence (as Mrs. Anna) about to dance with Yul Brynner (the imperious King of Siam)? This gown -- modeled after the one created for Miss Lawrence and worn by our beautifully poised bear -- is made of a fairly heavy flesh-mauve silk satin. Complete in so many details, this miniature has a fully-boned bodice constructed as it would have been for a human being, with the bones stitched to cotton-satin lining. Beneath the voluminous skirt is a petticoat with steel hoop (for the original costume, this would have been bamboo), and white cotton pantaloons decorated with ribbon and lace. On our bear's feet, dance pumps covered in fabric to match the dress; and on her head, a snood made of a coordinating satin cord fabric and decorated with hand-cut iridescent "feather" spangles. "Western people funny"? Perhaps. But by any standard, our exquisite bear demonstrates their fine eye for detail and quality!