Channing — of Hello, Dolly! fame — will offer The First Eighty Years Are the Hardest at Feinstein's at the Regency Oct. 11-22. Show times are Tuesday through Saturday evenings at 8:30 PM with late shows on Fridays and Saturdays at 11 PM.
First Eighty Years features such Channing signature tunes as "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend," "Little Girl From Little Rock" and "Hello, Dolly!" The evening will also include anecdotes about Channing's career, including reminiscences about working with Mary Martin, Ethel Merman, George Burns, Gower Champion, Neil Simon and Sophie Tucker.
About her new show, Channing recently told Playbill.com, "Well, it's the first time I'm playing myself! I've been lucky that I never had to play a character that wasn't monumental to me. . . . [This show] began with an interview [during the Singular Sensations series Off-Broadway], and it got a whale of a good review [in the New York Times], so I [have since performed it in] Sonora and all around California and all around everywhere! It varies with each audience. . . . I do songs I haven't done and songs I have done . . . and I tell about my life — with Sophie Tucker, my life-long friend, Tallulah Bankhead, with Ethel Merman, with Mary Martin, whatever the audience seems to cotton to."
One of the true superstars of the American musical theatre, Carol Channing wrote an autobiography, "Just Lucky I Guess: A Memoir of Sorts," for Simon & Schuster. In addition to her many triumphs — including her Tony for Hello, Dolly! and her Academy Award nomination for "Thoroughly Modern Millie" — Channing's tome also details some of the obstacles she endured, including her long-term food addictions, her battle with cancer and her first marriage to a struggling novelist, Ted Naidish. Channing's other Broadway outings include Lend an Ear, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and Lorelei. She is currently married to her childhood sweetheart, Harry Kullijian.
Feinstein's at the Regency is located in Manhattan at 540 Park Avenue at 61st Street. There is a $60 cover and $40 minimum for all performances. Call (212) 339-4095 for reservations.