Jana Robbins, the standby for both Valerie Harper and Michele Lee in Broadway's The Tale of the Allergist's Wife, will graduate to the co-starring role originated by Lee in the national tour that launches Sept. 10 in Denver.
Robbins, who has gone on as both the title character, Marjorie Taub (first played by Linda Lavin and now by Harper), and old-pal Lee (originated by Michele Lee), said she will play opposite Harper on the road. Robbins will portray the sexy and slightly dangerous childhood friend who shakes up the life of the depressed New Yorker, Marjorie, and her allergist husband, Ira.
The Broadway company, including Tony Roberts as the allergist, moves to a summer run in Los Angeles and San Francisco before breaking up. Then, Harper leads the yearlong tour beginning at the Auditorium Theatre in Denver, Sept. 10-15. No word yet on casting for the role of Ira.
Robbins has one more date left in her booking of One Hell of a Ride, her cabaret revue of Cy Coleman songs, at Danny's in Manhattan. She sings 8:45 PM May 12. For reservations, call (212) 265-8133.
"I'll be taking the act on the road with me, as well," Robbins said. The actress appeared in Broadway's Good News, I Love My Wife, Romance/Romance, Crimes of the Heart and Gypsy. She was the standby for Tyne Daly and Linda Lavin in Gypsy and both the wives in Cy Coleman's I Love My Wife. *
On May 26, Harper, Lee and Roberts leave the hit comedy at the Ethel Barrymore to play the Ahmanson in L.A. June 18-Aug. 11, and the Curran Theatre in San Francisco in August. Original castmates Shirl Bernheim (as Majorie's 80-ish mom, Frieda) and Anil Kumar (as the doorman, Mohammed) will also travel west. The Broadway company as of May 28 will feature Rhea Perlman (Marjorie), Marilu Henner (Lee), Richard Kind (Ira), Chevi Colton (Frieda) and Daniel Sandoval (Mohammed).
Lynne Meadow directed the Off-Broadway debut of the comedy by Charles Busch at Manhattan Theatre Club prior to the move to Broadway, where it opened Nov. 2, 2000. Performances continue at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre.
Producers are Manhattan Theatre Club (Lynne Meadow, artistic director; Barry Grove, executive producer), Carole Shorenstein Hays, Daryl Roth, Stuart Thompson and Douglas S. Cramer.
Designers are Santo Loquasto (set), Ann Roth (costumes), Christopher Akerlind (lighting) and Bruce Ellman and Brian Ronan (sound).
Broadway tickets range $35-$75. For information, call (212) 239-6200.