Bergen's Back at the Belasco in Six Dance Lessons Nov. 18

By Kenneth Jones
November 17, 2003

Polly Bergen, sidelined from the Broadway comedy, Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks, is back to normal after a flareup of a leg injury and returns to the Belasco Theatre Nov. 18, according to her publicist, Judy Katz.

The actress who was Tony Award-nominated for 2000-01's Follies (also at the historic Belasco) re-partners with Mark Hamill ("Star Wars") in Richard Alfieri's tale of a widowed Floridian and an acerbic New Yorker who dance to various beats as they find common ground on the parquet.

Bergen had to bow out of the two-character play in the middle of the Nov. 8 matinee. Kathleen Doyle stepped into the role of Lily Harrison while Bergen recuperated.

Bergen played Fraulein Schneider in Broadway's Sam Mendes-Rob Marshall revival of Cabaret and appeared in Off-Broadway's The Vagina Monologues. She also appeared in Broadway's Plaza Suite, Champagne Complex, John Murray Anderson's Almanac, First Impressions and Love Letters. TV viewers embraced her for her Emmy Award-nominated work in "Winds of War" and "War and Remembrance."

Observers say her clear, salty and strong-willed version of "I'm Still Here" in Follies is the reason she earned a Tony nomination in 2000-01. She's no stranger to singing: Among her albums is "Bergen Sings Morgan" (she starred in TV's "The Helen Morgan Story," winning an Emmy Award for it). Among her films is the noir classic, "Cape Fear."

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Cutting a rug at the Belasco, Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks opened Oct. 29 following previews since Oct. 7. Arthur Allan Seidelman directs.

The play, about a Florida widow and a bitter ex-New Yorker who teaches dancing, was a regional hit in Los Angeles and Florida and has international productions budding.

The Belasco is at 111 W. 44th Street between Broadway and Sixth Avenue. The schedule for Six Dance Lessons will be will be 7 PM Tuesdays, 8 PM Wednesday through Saturdays, with matinees 2 PM Wednesdays and Saturdays and 3 PM Sundays.

Tickets ($25-$80) are also available through Telecharge by calling (212) 239-6200.