Kathleen Turner will star in a national tour and Broadway production of Tallulah, a solo performance written by Sandra Ryan Heyward, based on the life of actress Tallulah Bankhead, according to Variety (Apr. 7).
Tallulah takes place as Bankhead is preparing to host a fundraiser of 350-plus people for incumbent president Harry S. Truman. As she fusses and frets over every detail of the party, Tallulah sips champagne and divulges some of the best secrets, passions and regrets of her life.
According to an agreement in principle between Pace Theatrical Group and James L. Nederlander Prods., in association with Duncan Weldon and Tony Fantozzi, producers hope to take it to select markets for four-to-five months beginning in October or November. The play would then have a spring launch in a Nederlander house on Broadway in the year 2000.
Tallulah, with Turner, premiered in July 1997 at the Chichester Festival Theatre in Sussex, England. Turner in Tallulah also played at Florida's Coconut Grove Playhouse in January of this year. Heyward has made revisions to the text for the tour.
Television sitcom director ("The Drew Carey Show," "Everybody Loves Raymond") Michael Lessac will direct. Bankhead is perhaps best known for her Broadway stints in as Hellman's The Little Foxes, and Wilder's The Skin of Our Teeth. Bankhead also starred in Alfred Hitchcock's 1944 film, "Lifeboat." She was a noted alcoholic whose fame slipped away in the 1950s.
Turner made her Broadway debut as a replacement in the long-running Albert Innaurato comedy, Gemini . Since then, she's been nominated for a Tony for her portrayal of "Maggie the Cat" in the 1990 revival of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and appeared in the 1995 production of Jean Cocteau's Indiscretions.
With her trademark husky voice, Turner came to Hollywood attention in the 1981 film "Body Heat," leading to sexy siren roles in films like "V.I. Warshawski," "The Man With Two Brains," and "Prizzi's Honor." Other roles include "Serial Mom," "Romancing the Stone" and the recent "Baby Geniuses." Turner received an Oscar nomination for her lead role in the Francis Ford Coppola 1986 film, "Peggy Sue Got Married."
-- By Sean McGrath