Tomlin Ends '99 Search in Southwest Dec. 9-11; 2000 Dates May Follow

News   Tomlin Ends '99 Search in Southwest Dec. 9-11; 2000 Dates May Follow Comic actress Lily Tomlin concludes her 1999 revival tour of 1985's The Search for Sign of Intelligent Life in the Universe, Dec. 9-10 in Tempe, AZ, and Dec. 11 in Tucson, AZ.

Comic actress Lily Tomlin concludes her 1999 revival tour of 1985's The Search for Sign of Intelligent Life in the Universe, Dec. 9-10 in Tempe, AZ, and Dec. 11 in Tucson, AZ.

The fall quest took her to 30 cities beginning Sept. 30.

Thirteen years after winning a Best Actress Tony Award for her solo star turn playing multiple characters in Jane Wagner's The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe, Tomlin returned to the material. Writer-director Wagner approached the show with a fresh eye in anticipation of the new century, according to a spokesperson.

The script, loaded with incisive seriocomic observations about post 1960s cultural attitudes, expectations and consequences, helped earn Tomlin a Tony in 1985-86 (and her longtime collaborator not even a nomination), and the show went on a successful national tour to 1990-91. Tomlin plays a punker teen, a wise bag lady, hookers, a fitness freak, a husband, a lesbian editor and more.

One of the more celebrated lines of the play had a character named Lynn, struggling to be a superwoman, observing, "If I had known what it would be like to have it all, I might have settled for less." A spokesperson for the show said there are talks of more dates in 2000, but nothing is firm yet, and there is no word whether the tour might return to New York City for sitdown production. The tour is considered an exploratory reapproach to see how the material plays more than a decade after it premiered. The physical production is leaner than on Broadway, with no set, but the script itself is intact.

The tour is a Delsener Slater production, produced by Tomlin.

Tomlin is a Detroit native who rose to fame on the TV program, "Laugh-In," and starred in the film "Nashville" and, recently, "Tea With Mussolini." She joined the cast of TV's "Murphy Brown" late in the show's run. Her previous Broadway show, Appearing Nitely, in 1977, earned her a Special Tony Award.

-- By Kenneth Jones