LA Valley of the Dolls

I recently went to a special live benefit reading of Valley of the Dolls which starred Sheryl Lee Ralph as Helen Lawson and Wilson Cruz as Neely O’Hara.  To see Wilson pull off Deena Jones’ wig was heaven.  However, it was Alec Mapa who stole the show.  As Anne, he mimicked Barbara Parkins’ stilted line delivery to a T.  Rounding out the glamorous trio was Bruce Vilanch as Jennifer, who pined over “Tony” with all the music of a buxom Sharon Tate.  Marissa Jaret Winokur was great as Miss Steinberg, but it was her giggling at everything onstage which made me laugh out loud.  Gordon Thomson (from the original Dynasty) played Lyon with suave assurance.  Joan Van Ark was Miriam and told me, “What I really want to play is Helen Lawson – wasn’t Sheryl Lee incredible?”  A lithe Greg Louganis played Tony Polar, Tom Lenk was Mel, Mo Gaffney took on Mr. Bellamy, and Joely Fisher was the narrator.  The event benefited the LA LGBT Center and the Alcott Center for Mental Health Services.  And, naturally, I will run photos from the event on my website.

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