Charles Nelson Reilly Celebrates his 50th year in showbiz when his new solo show, Save It for the Stage: The Life of Reilly, officially opens July 12 at the Falcon Theatre in Burbank for a six-week run. The show, which began performances July 6, looks back at Reilly's colorful half century of life on stage and off. Directed by Paul Linke, it will run through Aug. 27 (with no performances July 20-23).
Reilly's theatre career began in the fourth grade at P.S. 53 in the Bronx when his teacher cast him as Columbus in the school play about the Italian explorer. He was cast, as he recalls, not for his coloring or manliness, but because "he was the only actor in the class." Reilly later studied at HB Studios with the likes of Jack Lemmon, Peggy Cass, Geraldine Page and Jason Robards. He won Tony and Drama Critics awards for his performance as Bud Frump in the original production of How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. He was last seen in Los Angeles in Terrence McNally's It's Only a Play at the Doolittle Theatre.
Reilly is also a well-respected director, with such credits as The Gin Game, Paul Robeson and The Belle of Amherst (starring Julie Harris).
Reilly directs opera as well and recently did "Die Fledermaus" at The Dallas Opera. TV credits include "The Drew Carey Show" (acting) and "Evening Shade" (director).
Linke is an actor and director who has worked with Reilly for many years. As a solo performer, he was seen in Time Trilogy.Falcon Theatre is located at 4252 Riverside Drive. For tickets and information call (818) 955-8101.
-- By Willard Manus
Southern California Correspondent