On Stage and Off: Oct. 23, 1998
''Victor/Victoria,'' Betty Buckley, and ''Aida'' made the news this week
Star Bite Last month Betty Buckley, now starring as Mama Rose in Gypsy at New Jersey’s Paper Mill Playhouse, missed nine performances because of a throat infection. Buckley’s dog, however, proved to be a real trouper. Jesse Buckley, her shih tzu who plays Chowsie, went on with understudy Jana Robbins. Like her master, Jesse was given star treatment; while Mama was out sick, a limo service toted Jesse to and from each performance.
Road Work Toni Tennille, best known as the vocal half of a certain muskrat-loving ’70s pop duo, recently got an unexpected week off while starring in the national tour of Victor/Victoria, the musical based on the 1982 Julie Andrews movie. Due to poor ticket sales, the company skipped a scheduled stint in Chicago. ”It’s not a surprise,” says Tennille, who plays the chanteuse who impersonates a female impersonator. ”The show had played there [in 1995] before its Broadway opening.” Elsewhere, Tennille, who’s still married to Captain Daryl Dragon, is getting good reviews: An Omaha critic noted that ”her smoky singing voice lends itself to playing a drag queen surprisingly well.”
Furthermore Elaborate Lives: The Legend of Aida, Disney’s under-construction mega-musical set in ancient Egypt and probably bound for Broadway next year, opened in Atlanta on Oct. 7. The music, by Elton John and Tim Rice (who scored big with The Lion King), got thumbs up, but reviews were decidedly mixed. It didn’t help that the morphing laser-generated pyramid broke down on opening night…. Carol Burnett will go back on the boards in the Stephen Sondheim revue Putting It Together, which opens at the Mark Taper Forum in L.A. on Oct. 25.