PASSING STAGES -- August, 1996
PSEUDOLUS BY OTHER NAMES: In the April 1996 "Dear Playbill" column, mention was made that A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum was originally written for Milton Berle, but he turned it down. Ray Fisher, a Miami photographer, read this item while attending the theatre recently and immediately set the record straight. "Milton," he wrote to us, "did do the part 13 years later in 1975 at Ft. Lauderdale's Parker Playhouse. Another casting that might seem unfamiliar to most is that José Ferrer also did the part at Miami's Coconut Grove Playhouse in 1965." To prove his point, Mr. Fisher enclosed photographs that he took of both Berle and Ferrer playing the comical role of Pseudolus in Florida.
SHOW BOAT DELECTABLES: You can now savor the culinary flavor of Show Boat via a handsome new publication, The Show Boat Cookbook, featuring Southern cooking from the banks of the Mississippi. Written by Natchez, Miss., native and food connoisseur June Jackson, the book offers such mouth-watering specialties as "Buttermilk Pecan Biscuits," "Crawfish Etoufee" and "Delta Country Cheese Pie," and special bonus recipes are provided by some of the American South's finest chefs who cooked for Show Boat's opening-night party at the Plaza Hotel. The book is profusely illustrated with color scenes from the current Tony Award-winning production of Show Boat at the Gershwin Theatre and text on its history, as well as historic nineteenth century photos of life in Natchez and on the Mississippi (Wings Booksa division of Random House Value Publishing, Inc.).
PAGING PAIGE: Elaine Paige, known as "The First Lady of the British Musical Theatre," will make her long-awaited Broadway debut on September 5, when she succeeds Betty Buckley as Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard at the Minskoff Theatre. But if you hurry, you can have a preview of her powerful voice on the just released CD, Elaine Page/ Encore, on which she performs some of the songs she made famous on the London stage in Evita, Cats, Chess, Piaf and Sunset Boulevard. (Atlantic Records).
-- By Andrew Gans