Just weeks after the abrupt out-of-town closing of "Busker Alley" when Tommy Tune broke his foot, producers Fran and Barry Weissler appear to have another star disappointment on their hands. Raquel Welch, who was to have toplined a 1996 national tour of "Applause," reportedly has opted to settle into her new role on the CBS primetime drama "Central Park West," instead. The New York Post reports that Stefanie Powers will assume the role of singing Margo Channing when the tour launches in July, under the direction of Gene Saks.
"Applause," the 1970 Tony-winning adaptation of the film "All About Eve," has a score by Charles Strouse ("Annie") and Lee Adams ("Bye Bye Birdie"). It made a musical comedy star of Lauren Bacall. Welch succeeded Bacall in the 1981 Broadway musical "Woman of the Year," but won't step into Bacall's shoes again for the foreseeable future.