Ebersole's last performance was Dec. 31, 2001. Named Best Actress (Musical) at the 2001 Tony Awards, Ebersole requested a leave and the producers granted it. Her standby, Beth Leavel, has been playing the role of Dorothy Brock, the aging actress trying to make a comeback in a 1930s musical. The company at the Ford Center for the Performing Arts, includes David Elder, Michael Cumpsty, Mary Testa, Jonathan Freeman and Meredith Patterson.
Ebersole also canceled all her January dates at the cabaret spot, Arci's Place, in Manhattan. The show, Live in New York, a variation of her popular act at Los Angeles Cinegrill in 1998, was a sold-out hit during its Nov. 5-Dec. 17, 2001, run as well as a highly sought-after New Year's Eve performance.
Ebersole had added shows on Jan. 7, 21 and 28 to meet demand, but those were canceled. Arci's gave scheduling conflicts as the reason. Arci's said it hoped to rebook Ebersole for a future engagement.
* The limited engagement at Arci's marked Ebersole's first cabaret appearance in New York in more than 20 years. The show represents Ebersole's journey as a performer, wife and mom, and as a bicoastal actress, with musical styles ranging from pop to torch song to jazz and country. Scott Wittman directed (as he did in L.A.) and Academy Award nominated composer-pianist Marc Shaiman musical directs. Ebersole sings "The Man That Got Away," "Bill," "Shanghai" and "My Ship," among other standards.
Ebersole appeared on Broadway in I Love My Wife, On the Twentieth Century, the 1979 revival of Oklahoma!, in which she played Ado Annie, and the Camelot revival opposite Richard Burton. Among her TV work is a stint as a cast member of "Saturday Night Live." The blonde character actress is known for her comic performances on TV sitcoms and playing Tessie Tura in the TV remake of "Gypsy," starring Better Midler. Her New York appearances just prior to 42nd Street were in the Encores! revival of A Connecticut Yankee and the Broadway revival of Gore Vidal's The Best Man.