Legends! — with Collins and Evans — to Tour Prior to New York

News   Legends! — with Collins and Evans — to Tour Prior to New York Legends!, the ill-fated James Kirkwood comedy that spawned the infamous backstage tome "Diary of a Mad Playwright," will tour the country before arriving on Broadway.
Joan Collins
Joan Collins

Former "Dynasty" stars Joan Collins and Linda Evans will take on the roles originally played on the road by Carol Channing and the late Mary Martin. Producer Ben Sprecher told Playbill.com that Legends!, which will be co-produced with David Mirvish, will open in Toronto in September 2006. "It will then tour for awhile," said Sprecher, "and will come to New York when it's ready." Collins and Evans are confirmed to star, although "the show's other three actors haven't been [cast]," Sprecher said. "It's a really funny play, a very big comedy, and it's perfectly suited for Joan and Linda."

Collins, who made her Broadway debut in the revival of Noel Coward's Private Lives, will play Sylvia Glenn, the film star modeled on Joan Crawford, while Evans will play the Loretta Youngish Leatrice Monsee. Legends! will mark Evans' Broadway debut.

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Legends! originally played a 23-city tour in the mid-eighties with plans to bring the comedy about two former, feuding movie stars to Broadway. Martin, however, pulled out of the production when her second-act speech about breast cancer was cut. In Kirkwood's "Diary of a Mad Playwright," he writes about the moment Martin gave her notice: "This is a very rare moment in my professional career. Not only is the speech ruined for me, but also the play is ruined for me. I will go on, but I will not play London, and I will not come to New York. I'll fulfill my contract, and then you can get someone else and cut anything you want."