Elaine Stritch, the veteran actress who has become a cash cow for Off- Broadway's Public Theatre, just can't stop being good to the theatre that has been so good to her. Stritch will give a one-night-only benefit performance of her one-woman autobiographical show, At Liberty, on Jan. 9 at the Public. All proceeds will benefit the company. Tickets are $500-$1,000; the price includes the show and a following reception. For information, call (212) 539-8739 (as of Jan. 4, the show was nearly sold out).
At Liberty will leap from The Public Theater downtown to Broadway's Neil Simon Theatre, beginning Feb. 6. 2002.
Directed by the Public's producer, George C. Wolfe, "constructed by" John Lahr and "reconstructed by" Stritch, the already extended At Liberty runs through Jan. 6, 2002, at The Public.
Due to the strenuous nature of the performance, which includes songs musical-directed by Rob Bowman and orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick, the 76-year-old Stritch (who turns 77 Feb. 2) will perform the show five times a week, 8 PM Wednesday Saturday and 5 PM Sunday. Official opening is Feb. 21. Tickets go on sale Dec. 11. Only 80 performances are scheduled, but it's not hard to see that if Stritch wants it, if the business merits it and if the Tony Awards embrace her, the lady who introduced "The Ladies Who Lunch," will be lunching at the Simon well past the May end of the 2001-2002 season.
The Broadway run is produced by John Schreiber, Scott Sanders of Creative Battery, Margo Lion and Robert Cole, in association with Roy Furman and The Public Theater/NYSF.
Tickets range $40-$85. The Neil Simon Theatre, current home of The Music Man, which ends Dec. 30, is at 250 W. 52nd Street. For information, (212) 307-4100.