Jean Stapleton has been performing her one-person show about Eleanor Roosevelt around the country for some time, at such theatres at Hartford Stage and San Francisco's Marines Theatre. Well, now, New York City may finally get a look at it. The Cape Playhouse of Dennis, MA, where Stapleton will perform on Aug. 6, is advertising Eleanor: First Lady of the World as "Pre-Broadway." A spokesman for the playhouse said Philip Langner would produce and the show would hit Broadway "sometime next season," meaning 2000-2001. However, a spokesperson for Stapleton could not confirm the Broadway gig.
Stapleton performed the solo show in Hartford Stages' "Summer Stage" series last August, where it proved a hit. At that point the Rhoda Lerman play was called Eleanor -- Her Secret Journey, and directed by John Tillinger.
This past spring, meanwhile, Eleanor extended several times during its stay at San Francisco's Marines Theatre. The play received its world premiere in February of 1998 at the Helen Hayes Performing Arts Center in Nyack, NY.
Eleanor will be staged only twice at the Cape Playhouse, on Aug. 6 at 4 PM and 7 PM. The engagement will be preceded by Eleanor's return to Hartford Stage, July 5-9.
--By Robert Simonson