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Faye Dunaway Is Slated to Play Katharine Hepburn on Broadway

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NYTimes reports:


Faye Dunaway Is Slated to Play Katharine Hepburn on Broadway


Faye Dunaway will play Katharine Hepburn in a one-person show planned for Broadway next summer, the show’s producer announced on Thursday.

According to the announcement, Ms. Dunaway will star in a revised version of Matthew Lombardo’s “Tea at Five,” to be directed by John Tillinger.

The play had its debut at Hartford Stage in 2002, starring Kate Mulgrew, and later moved Off Broadway.

No theater or opening date was included in the plan, which was announced by Ben Feldman, whose other Broadway producing creditsinclude revivals of “M. Butterfly” and “Pippin.”

Mr. Lombardo’s two Broadway productions — “High,” starring Kathleen Turner, and “Looped,” with Valerie Harper as Tallulah Bankhead — had short-lived runs.

More long-running was a legal dispute over “Who’s Holiday!,” his raunchy stage sequel to “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” by Dr. Seuss. Last year a judge ruled in Mr. Lombardo’s favor, arguing that his work was a parody and didn’t violate copyright, allowing an Off Broadway run.

Ms. Dunaway, an Oscar winner for “Network,” last appeared on Broadway in “The Curse of the Aching Heart” in 1982. (The stage adaptation of “Network,” with Tatiana Maslany in the role made famous by Ms. Dunaway, is scheduled to open on Broadway Thursday night.)

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After what she did to Joan Crawford, why give Dunaway a shot at another Hollywood legend?

According to the announcement, Ms. Dunaway will star in a revised version of Matthew Lombardo’s “Tea at Five” …

Revised ? Or rewritten ? The first act of that play is set in 1938, when Hepburn was 31. Kate Mulgrew played it in her 40s -- not impossible on the stage -- but Dunaway is pushing 80. The audience will need to be seated in outer space if she has to pass for 31.

Edited by Whitman
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I'd much rather re-watch the two parts of her sit-down with Dick Cavett in 1973 (great shows, both available on YouTube).


Lucille Ball was quoted as saying, "Why is Hepburn calling me?. She ignore me when we made a few movies together. But, now I am "Lucy."

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  • 7 months later...
Faye Dunaway Is Slated to Play Katharine Hepburn

After what she did to Joan Crawford, why give Dunaway a shot at another Hollywood legend?

Anyone want to put money on if she actually opens with it?

Perhaps the key detail of the NYTimes announcement is not that Dunaway is slated to play Hepburn, but that ..."NO THEATER OR OPENING DATE WAS INCLUDED IN THE PLAN."

How many people are interested in a play about Hepburn (other than the author)?


Faye Dunaway fired from Broadway-bound ‘Tea at Five’


Faye Dunaway has been fired from the Broadway-bound play “Tea at Five.”


Dunaway, 78, was playing Katharine Hepburn in the one-woman play, set to open on Broadway next year. It had been playing in Boston.


“The producers of ‘Tea at Five’ announced today that they have terminated their relationship with Faye Dunaway,” spokesman Rick Miramontez said in a statement. “Plans are in development to have its West End debut early next year with a new actress to play the role of Katharine Hepburn.”


Dunaway last appeared on Broadway in 1982’s “The Curse of the Aching Heart.”



Edited by samhexum
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Whatever happened to Faye's play about Maria Callas, "Master Class"? Did she sell the rights to make a movie about it?

it wasn't Faye's play, it was Terence McNally's and Faye starred in a touring production of it, She bought the rights from him and started filming but it was never completed. Then Mike Nichols was going to direct Meryl Streep in it for HBO, but he died.

She's crazy as cat shit. Can you blame them?


Dunaway fired for slapping crew member

By Michael Riedel


Dunaway has been fired from the Broadway-bound play “Tea at Five” for creating a “hostile” and “dangerous” environment backstage that left production members fearing for their safety, several sources told The Post.


Onstage at the Huntington Theater in Boston, where “Tea at Five” was trying out, Dunaway was playing Katharine Hepburn. Backstage she was channeling Joan Crawford, the deranged, abusive film star Dunaway played in the 1981 movie “Mommie Dearest.”


The July 10 performance was canceled moments before curtain because Dunaway slapped and threw things at crew members who were trying to put on her wig, sources say. Enraged at the cancellation, Dunaway began “verbally abusing” the crew. They were “fearful for their safety,” said one source.


Dunaway was traveling in Europe and could not be reached for comment. Her lawyer did not respond to an e-mail seeking comment.


The producers of “Tea at Five” said in a statement they had “terminated their relationship” with the actress. They said the play, which was well received in Boston, would go to London in the spring and be recast with another actress.


“Tea at Five,” a one-woman play by Matthew Lombardo about Hepburn’s recovery from a car accident in 1983, was meant to be a triumphant return to the stage for Dunaway, who famously was fired by Andrew Lloyd Webber before she opened in the Los Angeles production of “Sunset Boulevard.”


Dunaway, who won her Oscar as the ambitious television producer in “Network,” was excited to return to Broadway for the first time in 37 years. (Her last appearance was in the 1982 play “The Curse of the Aching Heart.)


“She seemed committed to the role, and fun to be around,” said a source.


But her behavior was unsettling at an early photo shoot. Someone gave her a salad for lunch and she threw it on the floor. She was watching her weight and said the salad would be better on the floor than in her hand.


She was frequently late for rehearsals, sometimes up to two hours, sources say. She refused to allow anyone to look at her during rehearsals, including the director and the playwright. Although she had the script for six months, sources claim she was never able to learn her lines. During the run of the play at Huntington she was fed lines and blocking through an earpiece.


One source says, “98 percent of the play came through the earpiece.”


Late at night while in rehearsal she left what one production source called “troubling, rambling, angry” voicemails to the creative team during the middle of the night. She also insisted that no one wear white to rehearsals because it “distracts me,” she said. When she was rehearsing on stage at the Huntington no one was allowed to move in the theater because that also distracted her.


As she was rehearsing, she began to lose weight. She looked so emaciated that a production member called Dunaway’s former assistant for advice.


The assistant said, “It sounds like she’s not complying with her medication.”


The producers were so concerned about her condition they called Actors’ Equity Association to see if it was “ethical” to put someone in her state in front of an audience, sources say.


Over the last weekend of June she had a full on “Mommie Dearest” meltdown and demanded that staffers at the Huntington Theater get down on their hands and knees and scrub the floor of her dressing room, sources claim.


She allegedly threw mirrors, combs and boxes of hairpins at the staff of the theater. She also pulled gray hairs out of her wig because she wanted to play a younger version of Hepburn than the playwright had written.


The producer knew they had to fire her when they had to cancel the July 10 performance because she physically and verbally abused several production members.


This is not the first time Dunaway has displayed erratic behavior in a show. In the early 1990s she toured the country as Maria Callas in Terrence McNally’s “Master Class.” She showed up an hour late for many performances. She had bellhops rearrange her furniture in her hotel suites in the middle of night because she didn’t like the “flow” of the room. Once, a theater in St. Louis sent her a white limousine, and she reportedly had a fit because she hates white. She demanded a rental car from the hotel to get to the theater. The limo company sent a black car instead, but it was too late — Dunaway was racing to the theater, trailed by both the white limo and the black one.


I managed to track her down back then and she was charming on the phone. “Your story sounds like a Fellini movie,” she told me.


I haven’t been able to reach her in Europe for this story. But I hope wherever she is there are “no wire hangers!”

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After what she did to Joan Crawford, why give Dunaway a shot at another Hollywood legend?

Anyone want to put money on if she actually opens with it?

How many people are interested in a play about Hepburn (other than the author)?

Late in her life, Bette Davis happened to mention to Johnny Carson that Faye Dunaway was, um, not her cup of Tea at Five …


When The Post reported this week that actress Faye Dunaway was fired from the Broadway-bound play “Tea at Five” — after allegedly slapping crew members and throwing things at them, and creating a “dangerous” environment in which no one was allowed to wear white lest it distract her — some people were not surprised.


“My first day on the set, she slapped me,” said Rutanya Alda, who appeared with Dunaway in the 1981 movie “Mommie Dearest.”


Alda, who played the assistant character to Dunaway’s Joan Crawford, told The Post that they were filming a scene when “instead of doing a stage slap, she slapped me on the cheek, hard and for real.”


Broadway wig designer Paul Huntley, who worked with Dunaway on a 1996 tour of the show “Master Class,” claims to have witnessed her wrath. “Faye didn’t like how the hairpins were being presented and she slapped my assistant’s hand,” recalled Huntley. “[The assistant] was horrified and did not know what to do.”


A publicist for Dunaway had no comment for this story.


Indeed, the streets of Hollywood and Broadway are paved with tales of bad behavior by the legendary actress, who has starred in such film classics as “Bonnie and Clyde,” “Chinatown” and “Network.” Nominated for Best Actress Oscars for all three, she won in 1977 for “Network.”


According to the book “Easy Riders and Raging Bulls,” during the filming of 1974’s “Chinatown,” Dunaway had a habit of urinating into trash cans and a disdain for flushing toilets in her dressing room. Rather, the book claims, she called in Teamsters to do the job, leading to multiple resignations. (Dunaway told author Peter Biskind she had “no recollection” of such doings.)


Once during filming, the book alleges, Dunaway said that she needed a bathroom break but director Roman Polanski asked her to wait. Later, when he bent down to speak with the actress through a car window, she allegedly responded by tossing a cup of liquid into Polanski’s face. It was full of urine.


Asked about the incident by the Guardian, Dunaway was quoted as calling the story “absolutely ridiculous” and saying it “doesn’t even deserve the dignity of a response.”


Her pissy behavior has been so extreme, even other notoriously prickly actors are shocked. James Woods, who worked with Dunaway on the 1976 TV movie “The Disappearance of Aimee,” recalled in an interview how “she threw something at me because I ad-libbed a line . . . She was just so rude. If Bette Davis [also in the movie] can be nice to people, Faye Dunaway ought to be buying them limousines as presents.”


Davis — said to be one of the most cantankerous women in Hollywood during her era — agreed. When “Tonight Show” host Johnny Carson asked her to name the worst people in Hollywood, she chose Dunaway.


More recently, a makeup artist was offered two films in 2006 — one starring a veteran actress, who, the artist said, was known by film-crew workers as “a real c–t,” and one with Faye Dunaway, who colleagues said was “a psycho.” In talking to several other makeup artists, she was warned, “The c–t is much better to work with than the psycho.” She chose “the c–t.”


The Post also reported this week that Dunaway, 78, never learned her lines for “Tea at Five.” This led some Twitter users to speculate whether Dunaway’s age might have caused her memory to lapse.


But singer Jill Sobule, who had a hit in 1995 with “I Kissed a Girl,” recalls Dunaway having similar issues decades ago. A teenaged Sobule was an extra on the Denver, Colo., set of “The Disappearance of Aimee.”


“Faye Dunaway was hours late and we were all waiting for her, sweating through our costumes on the hottest day of the summer in an un-air-conditioned church,” Sobule told The Post. “[When she] finally arrived, she was in the foulest mood and didn’t know her lines. She yelled at people and huffed off the set . . . It was like something out of ‘Valley of the Dolls.’ ”


Dunaway’s shenanigans have not been limited to showbiz settings.


In the 1990s she lived in West Hollywood. A former neighbor recalled to The Post how the actress would park her Volvo station wagon and Mercedes SL “in anyone’s driveway, or block driveways. She’d always get into fights with [neighbors]. If they called the cops, she’d yell at the cops!”


According to a former employee of the now-defunct store Video West in West Hollywood, the actress used to drive up to the store and honk her car horn, waiting for someone to come out to collect her videos. If they took too long, the source told The Post, Dunaway would “just toss [the tapes] out the window.”


Michael Procopio, now a food writer in the Bay Area, was working at a Los Angeles Pottery Barn when he had his first run-in with Dunaway.


“I made eye contact, she walked over and asked a question about wine glasses. I was so new that I didn’t have the answer and [had to ask] my manager,” he said. “I told her it would just be a second while he checked . . . She called me ‘a f–king moron’ and told me I couldn’t do my job.”


A couple of years later, Procopio was working at the Beverly Hills restaurant Kate Mantilini when Dunaway was seated at one of his tables. She proceeded to order a complicated version of a menu item, asking for so many substitutions that it ceased being the dish on offer. “She hated the food, hated me and hurled another epithet. She was an awful person both times. Nobody likes her.”


Food seems to be a recurring theme in Dunaway’s meltdowns.


“I had lunch with Faye at The Ivy, and she pulled out a mini-kitchen scale and weighed all the food she was allowed to eat,” a Dunaway colleague told The Post. “She was . . . very cranky. Probably starving.”


As The Post reported this week, the actress allegedly threw a salad on the floor while doing a photo shoot for “Tea at Five” — saying it would be better there than in her hand.


Sources claimed that “Tea at Five” producers were so concerned about Dunaway that they called Actors’ Equity Association to see if it was “ethical” to put someone in her state in front of Boston audiences.


Despite her reputation, some in Hollywood — even those who have been on the receiving end of her outrage — feel sympathy for the actress.


An Oscars insider recalled how upset Dunaway was after her co-presenter Warren Beatty mistakenly announced “La La Land” — instead of true winner “Moonlight” — as Best Picture at the 2017 Academy Awards.


“I saw her whip out her phone to show James Corden a picture of the card she and Beatty had been given on the Oscar stage — the one with [‘La La Land’ star] Emma Stone’s name on it,” said the Oscars insider. “She was showing as many people as she could. She was so embarrassed and afraid people were chalking it up to her age.”


There was at least one person whom even Dunaway was intimidated by. While filming the 1987 movie “Barfly,” co-starring the actress and Mickey Rourke, the notorious Charles Bukowski — who’d written the script, derived from his memoirs — was sometimes on set.


“Bukowski was a pugnacious alcoholic and would get into a fight with anyone at the drop of a hat,” said Jonathan Hodges, who was an assistant prop-master on the film. “So she never messed around with him.”


The actress also has been incredibly loyal to those she’s loved.


During the making of “Mommie Dearest,” there was a day when cast members were told not to bother going to the set. They feared they were being fired.


Instead, “Faye wanted Terry O’Neill [her then-husband, a photographer] to get a producer credit,” recalled Alda. “He had never worked on a movie in his life, and she insisted that he get the credit or she would not show up. So much was invested that they decided to give him the credit.”

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Dunaway — who was also married to J. Geils Band singer Peter Wolf during the 1970s, and has been romantically linked to comedian Lenny Bruce and actor Marcello Mastroianni — likewise made demands for O’Neill while working on the 1985 CBS miniseries “Christopher Columbus.”


Before making a scheduled appearance to promote the miniseries, she called up with an ultimatum.


“She wouldn’t appear unless CBS provided two first-class round-trip airplane tickets for a husband and son [Liam, now 39],” recalled someone who was a CBS publicist at the time. “The network was over a barrel, with too much at stake to do the event without her, and they provided the tickets.”


Dunaway also seems to be so tender-hearted about her loved ones, being reminded of them can be a trigger. A New York media insider recalled walking through Times Square in 1981 and seeing the actress and her parents gawking at the lines of“Mommie Dearest” theater-goers that were “literally around the block . . . It’s one of the nicest things I ever saw, a prideful daughter with two very proud parents.


“Years later, I find myself sitting with her at the Hollywood Improv. I told her how she gave me one of my favorite moments, when I saw her standing in Times Square with her parents. She cursed me out. Turns out she didn’t like talking about her [now-deceased] parents anymore — how dare I remind her of them.”


Whatever is fueling Dunaway’s ire, one thing is for sure.


“She is a wonderful performer, but her own worst enemy,” said wig designer Huntley.


“She must be very insecure and very scared,” said the CBS publicist. “‘Tea at Five’ was such a good opportunity for her. Right now, it looks like her career is toast.”

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@samhexum, Faye had a small part in Arthur Miller's play "After the Fall" in 1964. Barbara Loden played Miller's version of Marilyn Monroe. I do not remember Faye, but Loden was magical as Monroe. But it was far too soon, Marilyn Monroe died only two years earlier.


Bette Davis is quite likable on television talk shows, but apparently not on movie sets.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Everybody hates Faye....


Gay personal assistant says Faye Dunaway called him ‘a little homosexual boy’: lawsuit

Actress Faye Dunaway relentlessly berated her gay personal assistant on play “Tea at Five,” calling him “a little homosexual boy” before he was fired for complaining, a new lawsuit alleges.

Michael Rocha says in his Manhattan Supreme Court suit that he began working for the Broadway-bound production — from which Dunaway was eventually fired — on April 5 and was tasked with shopping, helping the actress take her meds, arranging her schedule and getting her to and from rehearsals.

Rocha — who worked at the Oscar-winning star’s East 57th Street apartment and was paid $1,500 per week — alleges that Dunaway “regularly and relentlessly subjected plaintiff to abusive demeaning tirades” and used his sexual orientation as a gay man to “demean and humiliate him at work,” the court papers charge.

On May 2, the “Mommie Dearest” star called Rocha and other workers “little gay people” and later that month called him “a little homosexual boy,” which he says he has a recording of, the suit claims.

Rocha reported it to the general manager and general counsel for the one-woman play, in which Dunaway portrayed actress Katharine Hepburn, and also gave them the tape of the offensive comment, he claims.

About two weeks later, on June 12, Rocha was fired and told that Dunaway “is not comfortable with you anymore,” the court documents allege.

Rocha was not the only employee allegedly forced to endure Dunaway’s diva ways.

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  • 1 month later...
Dunaway “regularly and relentlessly subjected plaintiff to abusive demeaning tirades” and used his sexual orientation as a gay man to “demean and humiliate him at work,” the court papers charge.

... the “Mommie Dearest” star called Rocha and other workers “little gay people” and later that month called him “a little homosexual boy,”


She deprecates the gays because they know where to find the boys AND the booze!

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