Lucille Kallen, a playwright and a member of the famous collective of writers who weekly produced Sid Caesar's classic television program, "Your Show of Shows," died in Ardsley, NY, on Jan. 18, 1999. She was 76.
With her fellow "Show of Shows" writer, Mel Tolkin, Kallen penned the 1958 play Maybe Tuesday. Directed by Eliot Silverstein, the comedy ran only 5 performances on Broadway. The play was set in an apartment shared by seven women, and starred Brett Somers, Alice Ghostley and Myra Carter, who went on to become one of Edward Albee's Three Tall Women.
Kallen's life, however, appeared on Broadway a couple more times, for longer runs. The hectic, madcap atmosphere of "Your Show of Shows" ' famed writers room -- through which passed Larry Gelbart, Neil Simon, Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner, among others -- has been immortalized in Simon's play Laughter on the 23rd Floor and the musical My Favorite Year , which was adapted from the movie of the same name.
Kallen was the only female writer working for Caesar and, as such, she did her best to compete with a brigade of male egos. After "Your Show of Shows" ended its run in 1954, Kallen followed Caesar co-star Imogene Coco to "The Imogene Coco Show." The program lasted only one season, however.
Kallen, who was born in 1922 in Los Angeles, also wrote several mysteries and one novel, Outside There, Somewhere. -- By Robert Simonson