Chicago's Sandy Duncan and Jane and Gordon Connell will join Kristin Chenoweth, Karen Ziemba and Jason Daniely in an all-star reading of the Kaufman and Hart classic comedy, You Can't Take It With You, Nov. 15 for the benefit of the Friends of New York Theatre Outreach program. Bill Tatum will direct the evening to be held at the Broadway Grill Restaurant. Duncan, who appeared in The Boyfriend and Peter Pan and stars now in Chicago as Roxie Hart, will read the part of playwright mother Penny with her own real life husband Don Correia as her husband Paul. Another husband-wife team, Jane Connell and Gordon Connell -- she of Crazy for You and "Bewitched," he of the original company of Hello, Dolly! -- perform the roles of the Grand Duchess and Grandpa, respectively. 1999 Tony Award winner Chenoweth (currently of Epic Proportions) will be Essie Carmichael with Ziemba (Contact, Chicago) as Alice Sycamore and Danieley (Candide, Floyd Collins) as Tony Kirby. Other casting has not yet been announced, but there will be a special auctioning of the role of the IRS person and two other minor characters to the highest bidders (minimum bid is $250).
The Friends of New York Theatre, sponsors of the annual FANY Awards, use their Outreach program to provide means for those unable to see Broadway theatre for lack of funds, immobility or other obstacles. It is their belief, in the words of executive director Steve Ridgeway, that "Live theatre is not a luxury; it is a necessity and should be available to and enjoyed by everyone."
Tickets for the reading with benefit party to follow are $60 with reading only tickets for $25. The doors open at 6:30 PM with the reading to follow at 7:30 PM. Members of Friends of New York Theatre will receive a discount on the price. For more information on the Friends of New York Theatre, visit the FANY Awards Website at http://www.fanyawards.com.