Burnett and Philip Himberg, artistic director of the Sundance Institute Theatre Program, introduced the sold-out 8 PM reading, that was directed by Mark Brokaw.
The cast features Tony winner Tyne Daly, Sydney Lucas and her Fun Home Tony nominee Emily Skeggs and original Hollywood Arms Broadway cast member Tony winner Michele Pawk. The play was drawn from Burnett's memoir, "One More Time," and marked the return of Harold Prince as a Broadway producer/director (teaming with Arielle Tepper). A combination of the dramatic and the comedic, the play was penned by Burnett in collaboration with daughter Hamilton, who died of cancer in January 2002 before she could see it realized on Broadway.
Hollywood Arms chronicles the life of a woman named Helen in pre- and post-World War II Hollywood. Helen lives in an apartment building — the Hollywood Arms — at the foot of the Hollywood hills. The piece contains a cavalcade of characters, including a pill-popping Christian Scientist grandmother who cares for the heroine, Helen, after the divorce of her parents; a wide-eyed and distant mother who longs to be a celebrity interviewer (Pawk); and a recovering drunk father who wants to be the daddy he never was.
Pawk won a Tony Award for her performance as Louise, a role inspired by Burnett's own mother, in the original Broadway production, which ran 76 performances at the Cort Theatre. The play was developed at the Sundance Festival in 1998 and played at Chicago's Goodman Theatre before Broadway. Visit kaufmanmusiccenter.org/hollywoodarms.