Looped Tour Will Begin a Month Later Than Expected Due to Sidelined Valerie Harper
By Kenneth Jones
The national tour of Matthew Lombardo's Looped, about a fictional encounter between actress Tallulah Bankhead and a young recording editor, will kick off Feb. 26 in Fort Lauderdale rather than Jan. 24 in Hartford owing to the medical recovery of leading lady Valerie Harper. Spring dates for the tour have been adjusted. Harper will recreate her 2010 Tony Award-nominated turn as a late-career Bankhead.
Rob Ruggiero, who directed the Broadway production starring Harper, again helms. The national tour also features Brian Hutchison (recreating sound editor Danny Miller) and Matthew Montelongo (playing Steve, a sound technician).
Four-time Emmy Award winner Harper was hospitalized the week of Jan. 7, interrupting rehearsals for the national tour. As of Jan. 15, she was being treated in Manhattan and "is expected to make a full recovery within weeks," according to a statement by producers. During preparation for the show's New York premiere, the actress was diagnosed with lung cancer, a revelation that she discusses for the first time in her new memoir, "I, Rhoda" (released Jan. 15).
Here's how Looped is billed: "Based on a true story, Looped takes place in the summer of 1965, when an inebriated Tallulah Bankhead (Harper) stumbled into a sound studio to re-record (or 'loop') one line of dialogue for her last movie, 'Die, Die, My Darling.' Given her intoxicated state and her inability to loop the line perfectly, what ensues is a hilarious showdown between an uptight and conservative sound editor, Danny Miller, and the outrageous legend."
Harper appeared in the national tours of The Tale of the Allergist's Wife and Golda's Balcony. She is a four-time Emmy Award winner, best known for playing Rhoda Morgenstern on TV's "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and "Rhoda."
Playwright Lombardo is also known for the plays Tea at Five and High.
Looped is produced by Tony Cacciotti, Ann Cady Scott & The Tallulah Organization in association with The Pasadena Playhouse.
The design team includes Adrian Jones (sets), William Ivey Long (costumes) Michael Gilliam (lighting) and Michael Hooker (sound).
The Looped tour will now launch in Fort Lauderdale at The Parker Playhouse (Feb. 26-March 3). Performances follow in Baltimore at The Hippodrome Theatre (March 5-17), Boston at The Majestic Theatre (April 30-May 5), Hartford at The Bushnell's Mortensen Hall (May 7-12). More cities will be announced for the summer and fall of 2013.
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