The trash classic "Valley of the Dolls" (both the film and the Jacqueline Susann novel) gets the stage treatment in an "homage" by Empty Space artistic director Alison Narver, Jason Cannon and Burton Curtis, premiering Jan. 4-Feb. 9 at the Broadway Performance Hall. Curtis and Narver direct the production, which promises "camp, excess and fabulous Technicolor sets and costumes."
And a little non-traditional casting. Nick Garrison stars as a young man, whose love of "Valley of the Dolls" prompts him to enter the story as good girl-gone-"Gillian Girl," Anne Wells. The infamously trashy novel follows the lives of three young women — Wells, Broadway hopeful Neely O'Hara and model Jennifer North — trying to make it in show business as they are slowly dragged from their healthy, hopeful lives into an existence dictated by drugs, booze and sex. The Empty Space promises "Jennifer North's bust exercises, the powder room catfight between Neely and Helen, Neely's stage door alley breakdown and, as a special bonus, a Jennifer North dream ballet."
Sarah Harlett plays O'Hara with Michelle Lewis as North and Suzanne Bouchard as Broadway star (and Ethel Merman-esque) Helen Lawson. Also in the cast are Ian Bell, Kelly Boulware, Basil Harris and John Kauffman.
Chris Jeffries is the musical director. Designing the Valley of the Dolls is Richard Lorig (sets), Dennis Milam Bensie (costumes and wigs), Timothy Wratten (lighting) and Nathan Anderson (sound).
Tickets are $28-$20. For reservations, call (206) 547-7500. The Empty Space Theatre is on the web at http://www.emptyspace.org.