Eleanor Reissa stages the 8 PM event that features Johnston as the legendary stripper. Lee also penned the play. Johnston most recently appeared Off-Broadway in the Mint's production of So Help Me God! The cast also features Cass Morgan (Memphis), Jill Abramovitz, Jordan Lage (Speed the Plow), Mary Ellen Ashley, Dale Carmen, Matthieu Cornillon, Margaret Daly, Linda Gabler, Jennifer Harmon, Kate Levy, Dani Marcus, Chris Mixon, Saxon Palmer, Kraig Swartz, Sheila Stasack, Peter Van Wagner and Virginia Wing.
According to the Mint, "The Naked Genius, tells the story of a burlesque performer named Gypsy Rose Lee — author of a recently published memoir entitled 'I'll Bare All.' The cast of characters includes her manager, her mother, her publisher, four Chihuahuas and Ramona the Baby Chimp. It's a sweet farce about the struggle Gypsy faces between her desire for respectability and her burlesque roots."
Originally titled The Ghost in the Woodpile, the play's original producer renamed the production The Naked Genius and cast Joan Blondell (much to Lee's public displeasure) in the role of Honey Bee Carroll. Lee had written the part for herself. George S. Kaufman staged the play that ran for 36 performances at the Plymouth Theatre on Broadway.
Lee's son, Erik Preminger, and Anne Kaufman (whose father directed the original production of the play) serve as co-chairs of the benefit that begins with dinner at 6 PM at Caroline's on Broadway.
For tickets phone (212) 315-0231 or visit MintTheater.