Oh, those wacky septigenarian thieves! Charlotte Rae and Marni Nixon star as two elderly ladies who strive to save their home through shoplifting in a concert-style staging of John Kander and Fred Ebb's 70, Girls, 70 at Los Angeles' El Portal Theatre May 14-June 9. Jim Brochu (The Last Session) directs.
70, Girls, 70, a 1971 Broadway flop at the Broadhurst Theatre, concerns the retired entertainers, living in an old age home in danger of being demolished. The enterprising elders decide the only way to save their Upper West Side digs is to steal furs from New York City's swankiest shops and use the money to purchase their hotel. Songs in the score include "Old Folks," "Coffee in a Cardboard Cup," "Broadway, My Street," "Do We?," "Boom Ditty Boom," "Go Visit Your Grandmother," "The Elephant Song," "Yes" and the title tune.
Composer Kander and lyricist Ebb are the team behind Chicago, Cabaret and Kiss of the Spider Woman. They based 70, Girls, 70 on Peter Coke's play, A Breath of Spring.
Rae is best known playing Mrs. Garrett on "The Facts of Life" and "Diff'rent Strokes," but her theatrical credits include creating Mammy Yokum in Li'l Abner, Three Wishes for Jamie, The Boom Boom Room, Hot L Baltimore and Time of the Cuckoo. Nixon recently appeared on Broadway in James Joyce's The Dead and the Roundabout revival of Follies. She is also the singing voice for Deborah Kerr, Natalie Wood and Audrey Hepburn in the motion pictures "The King and I," "An Affair to Remember," "West Side Story" and "My Fair Lady."
Also featured in 70, Girls, 70 are Jane Kean, Bob Fitch, Barbara Haber and Irene Chapman. Kean starred as Trixie Norton on "The Honeymooners." Fitch played Rooster in the original Annie. Tickets are $45-$25. The El Portal Theatre is located at 5269 Lankershim Boulevard in North Hollywood. For reservations, call (818) 508-4200.
— By Christine Ehren