"Sparkle, Neely!": Busch, Blickenstaff, Plimpton and Anderson Read "Valley of the Dolls" March 15

News   "Sparkle, Neely!": Busch, Blickenstaff, Plimpton and Anderson Read "Valley of the Dolls" March 15 The Actors Fund's staged reading of "Valley of the Dolls," starring Charles Busch, Heidi Blickenstaff, Martha Plimpton and Nancy Anderson, is presented March 15 at John Jay College.
"Valley of the Dolls" star Charles Busch as Helen Lawson
"Valley of the Dolls" star Charles Busch as Helen Lawson Photo by David Rodgers

Carl Andress (Die Mommie Die, The Divine Sister) directs the 7:30 PM reading of the iconic camp film in the Gerald W. Lynch Theatre.

Tony nominee Busch stars as Helen Lawson, with Anderson as Jennifer North, Tony nominee Plimpton as Anne Welles and Blickenstaff as Neely O'Hara.

The cast also features Tovah Feldshuh (as Miriam Polar), Daniel Reichard (as Ted Casablanca and Mel), Craig Bierko (as Lyon Burke), Julie Halston (as Miss Steinberg and others), Troy Britton Johnson (as Tony Polar), Julia Murney (as The Singer), Brad Oscar (as Mr. Bellamy and others) and Ed Watts (as Kevin Gilmore and others). Reichard replaces Hunter Bell, who was originally announced, but has withdrawn due to illness.

Based on the 1966 Jacqueline Susann novel and 1967 film, "Valley of the Dolls," according to press notes, "follows the lives of three women – naive New Englander Anne Welles, aspiring singer Neely O'Hara, and buxom beauty Jennifer North – as they attempt to achieve fame and fortune in show business.

"As this legendary story unfolds, each starlet discovers that Hollywood is full of pitfalls and heartbreak. Instead of the happiness they seek, the trio descends into a dark world of sex, alcoholism, suicide and a chemical dependence on a variety of prescription 'dolls.'" Tickets are $75, $100 and $150 and are available by visiting ActorsFund or by calling (212) 221-7300 ext. 133. Gerald W. Lynch Theatre at John Jay College is located at 899 Tenth Avenue.

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The Actors Fund, which was founded in 1882, is a non-profit organization that provides for the social welfare of all entertainment professionals. Some of the many programs The Actors Fund provides include a nursing home and assisted living care facility; senior and disabled programs; mental health services; chemical dependency services; entertainment industry assistance programs; the Phyllis Newman Women's Health Initiative; the AIDS Initiative; and supportive housing on both coasts.