Now appearing on Broadway for the first time in more than twenty years, Rue McClanahan has set her stage sights past playing Countess De Lage in the current Roundabout revival of The Women. Her program bio notes that "pre-production work is already underway for her to play all four leads in the updated Broadway revival of George Furth's 1971 hit comedy, Twigs."
Asked about the project's status, Furth's agent at William Morris told Playbill On-Line Dec. 4 that McClanahan and her actor-producer husband, Morrow Wilson, took an option out on Furth's comedy-drama earlier this year. He added that any plans for the show have likely been on the back burner owing to the actress' commitment to The Women, which ends Jan. 6, 2002.
Twigs grew out of a project of 11 short plays Furth hoped would comprise an evening. Instead, he adapted four of the one-acts for Twigs, while two of the others helped shape the landmark Furth Sondheim musical collaboration, Company. In Twigs, three sisters and their mother prepare for Thanksgiving dinner. All four women — in four different kitchens — are generally played by the same actress. Sada Thompson won a Tony for the original Broadway production, which opened at the Broadhurst Theatre Nov. 14, 1971.
Furth himself won a Tony for the Company libretto. He also penned the book for the Liza Minnelli tuner The Act and wrote the plays The Supporting Cast, Precious Sons and, with Sondheim again, Getting Away With Murder, his last Broadway effort to date.
McClanahan, an Obie Award winner for Who's Happy Now?, appeared in the Off-Broadway satire MacBird and comedy-drama After-Play and in the NYC and L.A. line-ups of The Vagina Monologues, though she remains best known for her TV work on "The Golden Girls." — By David Lefkowitz