Legends! — with Collins and Evans — Books Tour Stops | Playbill

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News Legends! — with Collins and Evans — Books Tour Stops Legends!, the ill-fated James Kirkwood comedy that spawned the infamous backstage tome "Diary of a Mad Playwright," will be seen in a new staging starring "Dynasty"'s Joan Collins and Linda Evans.

The former television 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.

According to theatreleague.com, Legends! is already booked for engagements at the Lyric Theatre in Kansas City, MO (Dec. 5-10, 2006) and at the Orpheum Theatre in Phoenix, AZ (Jan. 30-Feb. 4, 2007).

In March 2005 producer Ben Sprecher told Playbill.com that the play would "tour for awhile and will come to New York when it's ready." Sprecher added at that time, "It's a really funny play, a very big comedy, and it's perfectly suited for Joan and Linda."

Legends!, according to press notes, "centers on two fading and somewhat desperate 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 somewhat desperate and waning movie stars and the surprising and hilarious resolution."

* 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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