Another Waltz With Ballroom

PlayBlog   Another Waltz With Ballroom
James Daly, John Carradine, Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball, in their long careers, never came together as co-stars in the same project, but their offspring did April 29.

Tyne Daly, Keith Carradine and Lucie Arnaz top-lined two elaborate industry-wide readings of Queen of the Stardust Ballroom (which director-choreographer Michael Bennett called simply Ballroom in its original 1978 Broadway incarnation by Billy Goldenberg, Jerome Kass and Alan and Marilyn Bergman).

So said Rita Gardner a few nights later on the 50th anniversary of her most famous role — The Girl in the Off-Broadway production of The Fantasticks. Gardner has gone through the ages of man on stage: The Girl was last seen on Broadway as the granny in The Wedding Singer, and now she has evolved into widowhood with Queen of the Stardust Ballroom, in which she and Rondi Reed (a Tony winner for August: Osage County) headed the supporting cast.

"We did two enormous readings for backers and producers because they want to bring it in next spring," Gardner said. "Marvin Hamlisch wrote some new songs for it, and The Bergmans were there. Jerry Mitchell is directing and choreographing."

— Harry Haun

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