Casting Complete for Joan Collins-Linda Evans Legends!; Tour Dates Announced

News   Casting Complete for Joan Collins-Linda Evans Legends!; Tour Dates Announced
Casting is now complete for the upcoming Joan Collins-Linda Evans tour of Legends!, the ill-fated James Kirkwood comedy that spawned the infamous backstage tome "Diary of a Mad Playwright."
Joan Collins and Linda Evans
Joan Collins and Linda Evans Photo by Fadil Berisha

As previously announced, the "Dynasty" co-stars will take on the roles originally played on the road by Carol Channing and the late Mary Martin. Collins will play the fading movie star Sylvia with Evans as Leatrice.

Collins and Evans will be joined onstage by Joe Farrell as Martin Klemmer, Tonye Patano as Aretha, Will Holman as Boom-Boom and Ethan Matthews as the Cop. Matthews will also understudy the role of Martin Klemmer; Chaundra Cameron is the understudy for the part of Aretha.

Rehearsals begin in Manhattan Aug. 12, producer Ben Sprecher said. Broadway, London and Australia are all being explored as possible future destinations for the production, he told

John Bowab will direct Legends!, which is billed as "a comedy about big stars and bigger egos." The creative team also features Jesse Poleshuck (set design), Phil Monat (lighting design), Nolan Miller (costume design) and Robin L. McGee (associate costume design). Producers are Ben Sprecher, William P. Miller, Percy Gibson, Wendy Federman, Spring Sirkin, Max Cooper, David Mirvish and Ed Mirvish.

Legends! will begin its tour at the Royal Alexandra Theatre Sept. 12, playing the Toronto venue through Oct. 22. The production will also visit theatres in San Diego, Los Angeles, Chicago and Cleveland, among other cities. The current tour itinerary follows. Sept. 12-Oct. 22 in Toronto at the Royal Alexandra Theatre
Oct. 24-Nov. 5 in Philadelphia at The Forrest Theatre
Nov. 7-12 in Hartford at the Bushnell
Nov. 14-19 in East Lansing at the Wharton Center
Nov. 21-Dec. 3 in Washington, D.C. at the National Theatre
Dec. 5-10 in Kansas City at the Lyric Theatre
Jan. 9-14, 2007 in San Diego at the Civic Center
Jan. 16-28 in Los Angeles at the Wadsworth
Feb. 20-March 4 in Chicago at The LaSalle
March 20-April 1 in Cleveland at the Palace Theatre
April 10-15 in Fayetteville at the Walton Arts Center
April 24-29 in Ft. Myers at the Barbara Mann PAC
May 1-6 in Raleigh at the BTI Center
May 8-13 in New Haven at the Shubert Theatre

Legends!, according to press notes, "centers on two somewhat desperate and waning movie stars named Sylvia (Collins) and Leatrice (Evans). Both actresses are courted by an unscrupulous young producer to star together in a Broadway show, despite the fact that they have hated each other for decades. He convinces both ladies to go along by misleading them into believing that they will be starring in the show with Paul Newman. This hilarious set-up provides the background for the full-blown comic confrontation between these two divas and the surprising and hilarious resolution.

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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."

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