The Goodman Theater in Chicago is bowing a new musical. And it’s chiefly dependant on three names: Tommy Tune, Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice. You know who Tommy is — the tall drink of water who is director-actor-dancer-choreographer-producer. He has won an incredible nine Tony awards in his time! Plus the Presidential Medal of the Arts. Brickman and Elice are the wonderkind who wrote Broadway’s big, long-running hit “The Jersey Boys.”
With the excellent actors Jeff Daniels and Rachel York heading their cast, these guys start final rehearsals for “Turn of the Century” on Aug. 4 at the Goodman. It opens Sept. 19 and there is much excitement, enhanced by what is called “New York money!” for this show.
I nabbed a brief chat with Tommy when he landed in New York for a moment. He opined: “All I can say is this is a stunningly original work; I am so encouraged. Everything I seem to have done in entertainment was always about famous people in the past — like Will Rogers for instance. But this is something new. So unusual for me. I am really excited.” Will they bring “Turn of the Century” to Broadway eventually? Tommy laughed: “Well, I surely hope so; you know we have a lot of Broadway backing.”
THE GRATEFUL Hearst Corporation bid farewell to super-editor Amy Gross this week. She is honestly leaving on her own terms after eight years; tired of the drill. Amy is the little dame who helped launch Oprah’s O mag into instant profit and has overseen it for the last eight years. I once “mentored” this talented lass and will write about that later. Right now, let me say that the magazine world will miss her! Oprah sent greetings from Hawaii to this fond farewell but they never arrived. Nevertheless, she gifted Amy with a first class three week trip around the world. So that ain’t bad! Now what will O do for an encore?
ACTOR, legend, painter and our favorite unabashed egoist Tony Curtis was spotted recently dining quietly at the Palm Restaurant in Las Vegas. He had veal parmesan and pasta. But he declined when the waitress asked if he’d like to sample a new Palm cocktail. The still-vigorous Tony stuck to water. I think of Tony often. Right on my desk is a sensational 8×10 black & white portrait of the bare-shouldered sexy star at the, uh…height of his career. He inscribed it as: “Relaxing at home.” And in the note he wrote to me, “I thought you’d like it for your purse!” We once had a little public dust-up at NYC’s posh Le Cirque, but we reconciled (at the Oscars!) and I have adored him ever since.