By Christine Ehren
and Kenneth Jones
16 Aug 2002
Golden Girl" Rue McClanahan will fox trot, tango and waltz her way across the Coconut Grove Playhouse stage March 18-April 13, 2003, but will Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks transfer from Miami to Broadway?
Uta Hagen was to have starred in Six Dance Lessons in New York as she did in Los Angeles, but her medical situation, complicated by what has been reported as a stroke, prevented Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks from arriving on Broadway in spring 2002 as planned. The stalwart star was said to have expressed a wish to continue with the show when the delay was announced in late January.
At press time Aug. 16, the show's Broadway producer, Rodger Hess, and his spokesman were not available to comment on the Florida production, but a Coconut Grove spokesperson told Playbill On-Line Friday afternoon there was indeed hope for a Broadway future for this production and that the original staging's director, Arthur Allan Seidelman, would again be helming. Hess, Marcia Seligson & Entpro Inc., along with Barry and Fran Weissler, were also attached to the planned 2001-2002 Broadway run that did not materialize.
Six Dance Lessons premiered at Los Angeles' Geffen Playhouse in May 2001, where it extended multiple times and was a huge success, partly thanks to the lauded chemistry between 81-year-old star Hagen and "Fraiser"'s David Hyde Pierce. The play received four 2001 Ovation Awards in the fall.
No word yet if Hyde Pierce, who created the role of heartbroken dance teacher Michael Minetti, will co-star with McClanahan, who will play feisty Baptist minister's wife Lily Harrison. During the course of the play, Michael teaches Lily the ballroom dance steps to the strains of "Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen," "Blue Tango," Eydie Gormé and the Beach Boys, while they both learn a few lessons about friendship and life.
McClanahan most recently appeared on Broadway as Countess de Lage in The Women. She is best known as the sassy Southerner Blanche Devereaux on "The Golden Girls," for which she received an Emmy Award.
Miami's Coconut Grove Playhouse hopes to send the world premiere musical Urban Cowboy to Broadway after its Nov. 5-Dec. 1, 2002 run. Other planned productions for the theatre include a second world premiere musical Romeo and Bernadette (Jan. 7-Feb. 2, 2003), Boulevard of Broken Dreams (Feb. 11-March 9, 2003), Lucie Arnaz in Once Removed (April 22-May 18) and Leslie Uggams in Blue (Dec. 11-29, 2002). For more information on the Coconut Grove Playhouse, visit http://www.cgplayhouse.com.