The show will go on for actress Elizabeth Ashley. Despite having lost nearly everything she owned Oct. 14 when a devastating fire gutted her Manhattan apartment, the Tony-winning actress will go forward with her upcoming Off-Broadway play, If Memory Serves, a production spokesperson confirmed. Memory will move into Off-Broadway's Promenade Theatre Nov. 26 for a Dec. 8 opening.
The fire struck Ashley's Union Square home last Thursday, after she stepped out for breakfast around 9 AM. A cigarette she had tossed into the kitchen wastebasket ignited. The resulting conflagration was fought by 190 firefighters for 90 minutes, according to The Daily News.
Ashley's 1962 Tony Award for Take Her, She's Mine was reportedly one of the items lost in the blaze. According to a spokesman for the Tonys, if the trophy was indeed lost, it will be replaced by the organization.
Ashley, who had lived at the 31 Union Square West address for 20 years, is best known for several Broadway turns in the plays of Tennessee Williams, including Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Suddenly Last Summer. She recently appeared at Washington, D.C.'s Shakespeare Theatre in Sweet Bird of Youth.
If Memory Serves is written by Jonathan Tolins, the author of Twilight of the Golds. It concerns Diane Barrow (Ashley), a wholesome, Mary-Tyler-Moore-Florence-Henderson-type television star desperate to revive her flagging career. All goes to piece, however, when her son makes some ill-considered jokes which then take on a media life of their own. Leonard Foglia will direct. Director Foglia staged the Broadway production of Terrence McNally's Master Class. He also directed the Pasadena mounting of If Memory Serves, which starred Brooke Adams and David Groh. Rehearsals for Memory will begin next week.
-- By Robert Simonson