Legends! to Play Broadway with "Dynasty" Stars Collins and Evans

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25 Feb 2005

Joan Collins
Joan Collins
Legends!, the ill-fated James Kirkwood comedy that spawned the infamous backstage tome "Diary of a Mad Playwright," is headed to Broadway.
The New York Post reports that former "Dynasty" stars Joan Collins and Linda Evans will take on the roles played on the road by Carol Channing and the late Mary Martin.

Legends! originally played a 23-city tour in the mid-eighties with plans to bring the comedy about two former, feuding movie stars to Broadway. Martin, however, pulled out of the production when her second-act speech about breast cancer was cut. In Kirkwood's "Diary of a Mad Playwright," he writes about the moment Martin gave her notice: "This is a very rare moment in my professional career. Not only is the speech ruined for me, but also the play is ruined for me. I will go on, but I will not play London, and I will not come to New York. I'll fulfill my contract, and then you can get someone else and cut anything you want."

Ben Sprecher will produce the Broadway mounting, which will tryout in 2006 in Toronto. About his decision to produce the piece, Sprecher told the New York daily, "I was looking for a play for Joan [Collins], something she would feel comfortable in. I read the script and thought it was very, very funny. I was prepared for her to think it was too lightweight, but she really enjoyed it."

Collins, who made her Broadway debut in the revival of Noel Coward's Private Lives, will play Sylvia Glenn, the film star modeled on Joan Crawford, while Evans will play the Loretta Youngish Leatrice Monsee. Legends! will mark Evans' Broadway debut.