Hilary Swank

Rosie O’Donnell

Kathleen Turner

Amanda Green

Stewart and Bonnie Lane

Once Again They Prove
Nothing Like A Dame

By Edward T. Callaghan
Photos by Rob Rich

ROADWAY’S brain trust was out in full force for the eighth annual Thinking Women’s Vaudeville Nothing Like A Dame 2003.

The dazzling galaxy of stars on and off stage, assembled by Brit director Jude Kelly (O.B.E.), proved that our Broadway babes are triple S: sexy, sassy and smart. The popular yearly concert written by, about and for women was a knockout from the start to rousing finale.

Imagine in one theater Lauren Bacall, Kathleen Turner, Edie Falco, Sutton Foster, Bebe Neuwirth, Liz Smith, Rosie Perez, former Texas Governor Ann Richards, Cady Huffman, Amanda Green, Hilary Swank and Hairspray’s redoubtable “Edna Turnblad” aka Harvey Fierstein in full hair.

Throw in the casts of The Producers, La Boheme, Def Poetry Jam and Hairspray and you’ve enough star power to light Rte.80 from NYC to LA.

If these ladies simply brought along their Oscars, Tonys, Emmys, Grammys and Golden Globes, the producers wouldn’t even have to turn on the lights!

Highlights of the evening included a special dames tribute to Adolph Green who passed away this winter. The beloved lyricist of Broadway and film was a fave with the ladies. His long time wife Phyllis Newman and daughter Amanda Green held the family banner high.

Broadway vet Kate Mulgrew, known to millions of TV viewers for her commanding role on Star Trek, brought more than a little otherworldliness to her interpretation of Kate Hepburn for the show she is rehearsing.

But it was those Hairspray gals – hair hoppers all who stole the show with their rousing “Welcome to the 60’s” especially written for the evening.

Hats off to Broadway Cares / Equity Fights AIDS for presenting this once-a-year gala to benefit the Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative of the Actor’s Fund of America.

Kudos to Continental Airlines and The New York Times for their sponsorship. And a special nod to Broadway hangout Angus McIndoo for the tasty pre–show goodies.

When the standing ovation finally ended, the Broadway troupes, led by Lauren and Turner, headed to John’s in Times Square for that favorite meal of dames everywhere – pizza & beer!

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