TONIGHT’S the night to tune in to “Ugly Betty” on ABC at 8 p.m. if you want to see your Liz doing her stuff, “acting” and delivering her lines, painfully. I won’t be there long, commenting to the truly adorable America herself about the reasons why I admire the devious character Claire Meade (Judith Light.) I loved going to Long Island City and meeting all the talented folks assigned to “Ugly Betty.” But working in a TV sitcom is like watching paint dry and I just can’t be envious of actors. They have a hard row to hoe.
STING’S daughter Mickey Sumner is playing a rebellious Amish girl in the comedy “Rumspringa” opening this week at 45 Bleeker Street Theater. The play shares a double bill with the comically violent “Sailor Man,” which received raves at the Fringe Festival earlier this year. You can see this unlikely duo at only $39 … But the best theater news is of Whoopi Goldberg, Charles Busch, and Lypsinka who’ll be doing a high camp, diva-divine reading of the late Jimmy Kirkwood’s play “Legends!” on March 23 at Town Hall. Friends in Deed benefits and tickets for this marvelous charity are on sale at 800-996-5433 for $250 each, with less expensive seats at Ticketmaster. This one could be the hot drama turn of the year!
THE MEMORIAL to the Shubert’s Gerald Schoenfeld at the Majestic this week was down-to-earth informal with some mighty talents onstage — Helen Mirren, Whoopi Goldberg, Jeremy Irons, Andrew Lloyd Webber, James Lepine and the mayor speaking, to name just a few.
The first half of producer Bill Haber’s program entertained us with stories of some of Gerry’s beloved flops, like, for instance “Chess.” But with emcee Hugh Jackman sexily electric onstage, things picked up momentum when Betty Buckley gave us ‘Memory” from “Cats” … Marvin Hamlisch played and told his “Tits & Ass” story … Priscilla Lopez revived “What I Did for Love” from “A Chorus Line” and Jackman reprised his goodbye song from “The Boy from Oz.” Then, a distinguished Angela Lansbury closed saying how important Gerry had been in his devotion to theater. I adored the filmed tribute from Gerry’s daughter, Carrie and the appearance of his widow Patricia at the end, assuring the audience how much Gerry had loved them. Then the sign-off, Gerry himself on film, singing “Everything’s Coming Up Jerry!” just like the night Patti LuPone sang it to him when he was made a Living Landmark. The audience? Well, if a bomb had dropped — no more theater.