Hollywood Arms, a new play by Carrie Hamilton and Carol Burnett, will begin Broadway previews Oct. 8 at the Cort Theatre, it was confirmed, and open Oct. 31.
The new domestic drama culled from the early experiences of American showbiz icon Carol Burnett was penned by the actress in collaboration with her daughter, Carrie Hamilton, who died of cancer before she could see the play realized at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago earlier this year.
The play marks the return of Harold Prince as a Broadway producer (teaming with Arielle Tepper). Prince will direct the play, as he did in Chicago. Casting has not been announced, but the Chicago company — which included Michele Pawk, Linda Lavin and Frank Wood — is expected to repeat duties on Broadway. Carol Burnett will talk about her career, the play and the loss of her daughter with Barbara Walters on ABC's "20/20" June 14. Hal Prince will also appear in the piece on the popular news program.
The play was drawn from Burnett's memoir, "One More Time." Prince, the famed director of Company, Cabaret, Zorba, A Little Night Music, Follies, Sweeney Todd and more, is a 20-time Tony Award-winner. He famously produced The Pajama Game, West Side Story and Fiddler on the Roof before becoming a director.
* Sara Niemietz and Donna Lynne Champlin also appeared in the Goodman staging of Hollywood Arms. The play officially opened April 29, after previews from April 19. The play chronicles the life of a woman named Helen in a pre- and post-World War II Hollywood, within an apartment building — the Hollywood Arms — at the foot of the Hollywood hills. The piece contains a cavalcade of characters, including a pill popping Christian Scientist grandmother (Lavin) who cares for the heroine, Helen (nine-year-old Niemietz and later Champlin) after the divorce of her parents; a wide-eyed and distant mother who longs to be a celebrity interviewer (Pawk); and a recovering drunk father who wants to be the daddy he never was (Wood).
The cast also included Steve Bukunas and Christian Kohn as Policemen, Patrick Clear as Bill, Emily Graham-Handley as Alice, Nicolas King as Malcolm and Barbara E. Robertson as Dixie. The play closed June 1 in Chicago.
Writer-director-actress Hamilton died of cancer Jan. 20. She started the ball rolling on the project. Hamilton was skeptical of taking on the adaptation alone. "Having only written screenplays, I didn't think I'd be up to the task," she had said. So when mom Burnett suggested to co-write the play with her, she was thrilled.
When Burnett sent a rough draft to "a close friend" for a personal suggestion of someone to helm the work, the friend volunteered himself. The friend was the legendary Prince.
Prince will work at the Goodman again next season, directing Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman's Gold!