Broadway’s Broadhurst Theatre is approaching its 100th anniversary on September 27, and Feinstein’s/54 Below cabaret is planning to mark the milestone with “an evening of songs and stories, performed by the legends themselves who were lucky enough to grace the Broadhurst stage.”
Guests will include Wayne Cilento, Judy Kaye, Lewis J. Stadlen, Walter Bobbie, Anita Gillette, and others, including a special appearance by Carole Demas, who originated the role of Sandy Dumbrowski in Grease, which played at the Broadhurst June to November 1972 before moving to another Broadway house for most of its run.
The grand old theatre on West 44th Street in Manhattan has hosted the original productions of Cabaret, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Fiorello!, its current tenant Anastasia, and dozens more shows, with the stars crossing its stage over the years including Katharine Hepburn, Humphrey Bogart, Chita Rivera, Ingrid Bergman, Tom Hanks, and Nathan Lane.
Demas, who was 32 but passing as a teen when Grease played the Broadhurst, told Playbill that she will recreate two songs she introduced, “It’s Raining on Prom Night” and “Look at Me, I’m Sandra Dee.”
She has been working as an actor-singer since 1960, and observed, “There have been some successes and some heartaches." She lost the role of Sandy in the film of Grease to Olivia Newton-John.
Demas recently performed a concert of songs by Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt, songwriters of The Fantasticks, in which Demas was featured as The Girl during its original Off-Broadway run. A long-running revival of the show recently closed. She’s also taking part in an upcoming concert in Bay Shore, Long Island, to celebrate the 45th anniversary of the children’s show The Magic Garden, in which Demas co-starred with Paula Janis from 1972 to to 1984. She said, “I’m so grateful to still be singing.”
The celebration is scheduled for two performances, 7 and 9:30 on August 16. Tickets cost $25, $35, and $60, plus a $25 food/beverage minimum.
Here are the guests announced so far:
Appearing at the 7 PM show: Demas, Jerry Adler (Oh What a Lovely War), Wayne Cilento (Dancin’), Sarah Charles Lewis (Tuck Everlasting), Howard McGillin (Kiss of the Spider Woman), Don Scardino (Godspell, Lennon), and Kevin David Thomas (Les Misérables).
Appearing at the 9:30 PM show: Walter Bobbie (Grease) video appearance, Anita Gillette (Cabaret, Kelly), Judy Kaye (Mamma Mia!), Lewis J. Stadlen (The Front Page, The Odd Couple), and Jodi Stevens (Urban Cowboy). As special guests, representing the legendary musical Rachael Lily Rosenbloom and Don’t You Ever Forget It, which closed in previews at the Broadhurst in 1973, Kathryn Allison, Charlie Franklin, Anastacia McCleskey, Bonnie Milligan, Jeremy Morse, Kevin Michael Murphy, Jason Veasey, and Natalie Walker.
Other major productions at the Broadhurst through the years: Fosse, Amadeus, Men in White, Victoria Regina, Flahooley, Auntie Mame, 110 in the Shade, Beggar on Horseback, The Sunshine Boys, Broadway Bound, and Play It Again, Sam.
Other stars who have trod its boards: Helen Hayes, Barbara Cook, Lotte Lenya, Carmen Miranda, George C. Scott, Ian McKellen, Tim Curry, Savion Glover, Dustin Hoffman, William Shatner, Jerry Seinfeld, Daniel Radcliffe, Jude Law, Hugh Jackman, Bruce Willis, and Woody Allen.